Roosevelt at Columbia is led by a general board comprised of all the policy center directors as well as the executive board which consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Outreach Director, and Journal Editor. The executive board is elected on a yearly basis and the policy center directors are chosen by the executive board.

To learn more about our center directors and the work that they do, check out our page on policy centers.

President: Nicole (Nicki) Felmus


Nicki Felmus is currently a senior at Columbia University majoring in American Studies and Education.  Last year, she served as the Education Center Director for the Columbia chapter and the Education Policy Coordinator for the national Roosevelt Network. In addition to serving as president of the Roosevelt Institute at Columbia, she is a member of the Roosevelt Network's Student Board of Advisors.  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.

Vice-President: Danielle Deiseroth


Danielle Deiseroth is a senior in SEAS majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Earth and Environmental Engineering.  She wants to combine her passions for engineering and politics by pursuing a career in environmental or energy policy.  In the past, Danielle has interned for former New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congressman Tim Murphy, and political startup Polis. Danielle is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in her free time loves cheering on Pittsburgh sports teams and doing the New York Times crossword.

Secretary: Sumya Akkas


Sumya Akkas is a junior at Columbia College studying Political Science and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. Sumya first learned about the Roosevelt Institute during Days on Campus before entering Columbia and is really excited to serve as the Secretary of the Columbia chapter of the Roosevelt Institute. She is also the Co-President of Columbia University Club Bangla. Sumya is interested in foreign policy and health policy with a focus on civil and immigrant rights. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Sumya can be found in Ditmas Park (cooler than Williamsburg), visiting museums, or in Butler drinking coffee, doodling, and cramming.


Outreach Director: Ben Kaplan


Ben is a sophomore in Columbia College thinking about majoring in Political Science and potentially the three-two program with SEAS for a degree in Civil Engineering. As the Outreach Director, Ben is in charge of maintaining communications with other student groups and represents Roosevelt on the executive board of the Columbia Political Union. Ben is interested in technology policy with a focus on renewable energies among other applications. From a small town in central Vermont, Ben also holds local government dear in his heart. He enjoys reading Politico, biking, and skiing. 


Treasurer: Emma Cloyd


Emma is a junior at Barnard College majoring in Political Science with minors in Science Public Policy, and Ethics and Economics. Hailing from rural Maine, her policy interests relate to the injustices many parts of rural America face, especially access to education and rural poverty. In addition to Roos, Emma is the Vice President of Finance of Alpha Chi Omega. Emma spends most of her free time drinking cappuccinos, eating dumplings, stress cooking extravagant pasta sauces, and dogspotting.

Journal Editor: Rachel Knowles


Rachel Knowles is a senior at Barnard College studying Political Science and Environmental Science. Last year she served as Roosevelt's Vice President, and before that she was the Co-Director of the Equal Justice center. Rachel is interested in affordable housing policy, election law, criminal justice reform, and environmental activism. She’s a proud Alabamian who spends half her time in New York City searching for acceptable biscuits and cornbread (roll tide).