Each one of our policy centers is led by at least one director. All policy Center Directors are on the Roosevelt board and are in charge of leading their respective initiatives during the semester.
Defense and Diplomacy: Elise Guarna
Elise is a senior at Columbia College studying Political Science, though she will also begin working towards a Masters in International Affairs in International Security Policy this year as part of a 5-Year program with Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. Her love of policy circles mainly around national security policy and US-Middle East relations. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Elise loves crossword puzzles, Tostitos, and the NY Mets.
Defense and Diplomacy: Cameron Davis
Cameron is a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in Political Science and Economics. Originally hailing from northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C., Cameron has been close to policy and politics for his entire life, seeing it as a great way to make a real difference in the world and change lives for the better. Outside of the Roosevelt Institute, Cameron is an active member of the Columbia Debate Society, volunteers at underserved schools through Youth for Debate, and is working on creating a credit union for the Columbia community. He is thrilled for another year of being the token political minority of Roosevelt.
Energy and Environment: Emma Gomez
Emma is a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in Human Rights. Hailing from North Carolina, she has a passion for climate justice, public health, and girls’ and women’s empowerment. She loves being a member of Columbia Roosevelt because of the engaging weekly discussions and the wonderful community it brings together each week. Since joining the chapter last fall, policy has interested Emma because of its capacity to bring about change in people's’ lives as well as the deliberate ways it is crafted and implemented. Her interests include running, soccer, and hiking. Hillary Clinton also follows her on Twitter.
Energy and Environment: Caravaggio Caniglia
Caravaggio is a Chemistry major and sophomore in Columbia College. A Nebraska native, he grew up cognizant of irrigation issues and this, combined with the fear of losing white Christmases, sparked an interest in climate change and the environment. He is particularly passionate about water issues. He enjoys Roosevelt for its wonderful members and its emphasis on concreteness in policy. Caravaggio will be a STEM major, but the importance of science and policy working in tandem drives his strong interest in the latter. Whenever possible, he is hiking, playing guitar, or trying to perfect his sauce-making skills.
Education: Nicole Felmus
Nicki Felmus is currently a junior at Columbia University majoring in American Studies with a concentration in Urban Adolescent Education. She serves as the Education Center Director for the Columbia chapter and the Education Policy Coordinator for the national Roosevelt Institute. When not writing policy, Nicki enjoys reading articles on education reform, binge watching Parks and Recreation, listening to The Head and the Heart, and instagramming and snapchatting her food. After discovering Roosevelt at Days on Campus before her first year, Nicki joined the Columbia chapter because it combined her interest in government and education reform. She aspires to be the Leslie Knope of education.
Education: Guy Raber
Guy Raber is a junior studying American History and Political Science at Columbia College. He believes that education policy research and reform can contribute to the increase of public knowledge and equality. As a result, he is excited to be one of the Education Center Directors and to extend his involvement in the Roosevelt community. Guy is originally from the Bay Area in California and loves sailing, the Golden State Warriors, refusing to acknowledge that Mumford and Sons is no longer popular, and advertising to everyone that Doaba Deli is by far the best place to eat around Columbia.
Healthcare: Kunal Shah
Kunal is a rising senior in Columbia College studying Biochemistry, and the Healthcare Center Director for the 2016-2017 academic year. Kunal's interest in policy began in Sacramento, CA, where he was exposed to education policy at the state level. Since coming to Columbia, Kunal has served as the Education Center Director and Healthcare Center Director, and is especially interested in policy surrounding Healthcare Information Technology, Patient Care, and Nutrition Education.
Economic Development: Brendan Moore
Brendan Moore is serving his second year as the Center Director for Economic Development at Columbia’s Roosevelt Institute. A junior majoring in Economics-Philosophy and minoring in Math, he has led policy discussions on issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Dodd-Frank. Brendan particularly enjoys discussing how basic market rules and policies can contribute to a given pre-tax distribution of income. Originally from Bangor, Maine, Brendan worked as a research assistant at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank this past summer, where he conducted data analysis for an economist’s paper on New England’s declining labor force participation rate. He loves being a part of Roosevelt because of the welcoming, positive community and focus on policy details that truly matter when trying to improve the lives of fellow citizens.
Democratic Access: Jay Rappaport
A double-major in Economics and History, Jay enters his junior year excited to serve as the Democratic Access Center Director for Columbia’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. Many aspects of public policy speak to Jay, including its ability to help people on a large-scale, need to be analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively, and implications for justice, wealth, and families across the nation. Serving as a center director for Roosevelt appeals to Jay because it gives him the opportunities to lead meaningful discussions about public policy issues with the greater Columbia community and to direct a group of students in an extended policy research project. Jay is originally from New York, NY, and, as he has said elsewhere, in his free time he likes books, burritos, and baseball.
Human Rights: Ali Fraerman
Ali Fraerman is a sophomore at Barnard College, majoring in Human Rights and Political Science. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs and has worked extensively with Chicago-based criminal justice organizations such as the Chicago Innocence Center and Northwestern Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions. Her first year at Barnard, she found Roosevelt to be a deeply caring community of students advocating for real change, and she plans to use her position as Co-Center Director for Human Rights to advocate for important adjustments in New York’s social systems. In addition to her Roosevelt position, Ali leads campus conversations as the Columbia Political Union’s Debate Director and as a Barnard Speaking fellow.
Human Rights: Connor Haseley
Connor Haseley is a sophomore at Columbia University with prospective majors in Human Rights and Political Theory. He serves as the Human Rights Center Co-Director for the Columbia chapter. Outside of policy, he loves backpacking, listening to post-punk, writing, and reading Dada poetry. After showing up to a few Roosevelt meetings in September of his first year and going on the Fall Break trip to Washington, Connor decided to commit to Roosevelt because he feels that it is uniquely placed at the intersection of theory and practice. He is from Brooklyn, New York.