The Carter School Alumni Chapter seeks to engage current students and build community with alumni. The leadership team will design programming and outreach that responds to your requests while outlining strategic priorities for the coming years.
Carter School Alumni Chapter Board
Fitz Shipp, President
2012 - Malta Dual Degree Program M.S./M.A.
Alumni of the Carter School, especially recent graduates, should have a structured support system should they want it. This includes mentoring and activities, along with unstructured fellowship. This is an opportunity to build an organization, which will lead to lifelong engagement. Many of my closest friends are alumni of the Carter School, and I want others to be able to experience the joy of having those relationships well after their graduations.
The Alumni Chapter can best serve students by getting them involved even before graduation. As a student overseas, I was unable to take advantage of any mentoring or career services programs. In fact, I still don't know what career services are offered by the wider University. We can best serve students and alumni by doing the following: (1) creating programming focused on mentoring, outreach, and support; (2) engaging with current students even before their graduation, so that they know they are supported; (3) bolstering the profile of the Carter School through a robust community of committed alumni. This will require hard work and persistence but will be possible thanks to a committed board.
I will bring organizational structure and ensure things get done, in a way that others can get behind. Already, I have realized the Alumni association needs a website, improved email contacts, and a contact system whereby new alumni can know they are supported by an engaged group. I'm happy to dive in a figure out solutions to operational problems (that is what I do professionally). While I am not interested in event planning, I can effectively keep a team on task and facilitate group decision making. However, I would be highly interested in providing individual or group support to alumni should they express interest with career advice, personal finances, or simply wanting an ear to listen. Looking forward to getting involved and supporting our current and future alumni!
Raquel Gonzalez, Vice President
2012 - Malta Dual Degree Program M.S./M.A.
I love GMU broadly (got 2 degrees & a certificate), but the Carter School has a special place in my heart. The ability to live and study in Malta was an immense growth opportunity, both personally and professionally. I matured and made lifelong friends whom I consider family. But I felt a little forgotten by the school after graduation and I want to help revitalize the alumni chapter so that other alumni and future grads are better supported throughout their lives. We have such an impressive network and I would love to see us better utilize our collective wisdom and experience to help each other and advance peacebuilding and democracy.
I am committed to the work and have been volunteering since last June with the steering committee that is relaunching the alumni chapter. So far, we have created bylaws, hosted a career development panel, organized this officer election process, and we are sharing messages of support and gifts with upcoming grads. I’m excited to engage the students and alumni with even more offerings in the next academic year.
I would love to see events co-branded by the Carter School and its alumni chapter so we can engage students long before they graduate and make engagement with the alumni chapter a normal part of the Carter School experience. The type of programming I think would be most useful includes mentorship and networking; career readiness/development; and opportunities to share, learn about, and collaborate on research and other field-specific projects. I also would love to leverage our existing networks to support Carter School alumni job placement. However, I prefer to make decisions about programming and services using data from current and former students about what they want, and think will be most useful.
In addition to programming, I think the value of an active alumni chapter is a sense of community and belonging. I would love for every graduate to feel confident that they can contact another Carter School alum they don’t know and they will be greeted warmly and with offers of support. This is something ivy league schools capitalize on, and I think the Carter School should be better than them at this since it is the nation’s first and best conflict school.
I bring expertise in strategy, operations, and culture, with nearly twenty years of experience in project and personnel management. I have led policy and diversity and inclusion initiatives in federal and state government for teams up to 1,300 with budgets up to $423 million. At one state agency, I spent two years developing an employee engagement committee that had since grown and become an integral part of the employee experience.
As a Latinx first-generation college graduate from a low-income family who identifies as queer and gender fluid, I also bring the lived experience of multiple marginalized identities and I am committed to building an inclusive and accessible experience for alumni from all walks of life and geographies.
I also bring deep experience designing and implementing leadership and professional development programming. In the past 6 years, I have served on three nonprofit Boards of Directors and helped four organizations design or revamp training curriculum to better align with their strategic plans and center equity.
Lastly, I bring access to other impressive networks - like former and current presidential appointees and the Truman National Security Project - that we can leverage to support the Carter School community.
Kemper Tell, Secretary
2020 - Malta Dual Degree Program M.S./M.A.
Each student has their own unique experience at the Carter school. Mine happened to take place halfway across the world on a tiny island in the Mediterranean - Malta. I never stepped foot on GMU’s campus, but I built relationships and connected with students and faculty in that tiny country that continue to support me to this day.
I want to serve on the Carter School Alumni Chapter Board because I want to do my part to support the growth of the Carter school and that the students and alumni who interact with it have well-rounded representation - even if they never attend physically on campus. The graduates of the Carter school go on to build dynamic and fascinating careers and are a wealth of knowledge and support for current students. If I have the opportunity to serve on this board, I would work to ensure a way to connect interested students to alumni for post-graduate success and provide pathways for professional development long after your graduation date.
As we are in the building phase of this chapter, we have an opportunity to create an organization that provides practical and impactful programs for students and graduates alike. Networking and professional development are key to building a career and something our chapter could work to provide any interested student or alumni. Designing a mentoring and networking program that creates natural connections for professional progress post-graduation would provide great value to the chapter’s members. I also think developing stories around career pathways and the countless ways a student could utilize their Carter school degree in the ‘real’ world would be a benefit for current students as they consider their options post-graduation. Finally, providing a space for belonging and community for alumni is invaluable for connection and professional development.
With over 10 years of professional experience in the association, non-profit, and political spheres, I bring a multi-passionate viewpoint to the table. I am an expert in building member engagement, developing campaigns, creating consensus and teams while working towards a common goal, and providing strategic planning to the group. I believe in creating spaces for connections and belonging and understand how alumni chapters can be this space while providing opportunities for professional and personal growth for its members.
Hussein Halane, Treasurer
2005 - MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
I want to contribute to my school and it's community.
Students need up to date information on the surrounding environment. Alumni Association can be helpful in.providing reliable information and linking students.
Timothy Hammond, Director-at-Large
2012 - Malta Dual Degree Program M.S./M.A.
I am interested in serving on the Board to help bolster the Alumni Chapter and form it into a valuable resource for students and alumni. I believe my professional experiences in the defense, security, and legal/corporate worlds have offered me valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that students and alumni may encounter, and I would be happy to apply what knowledge I have to help build a well-connected community.
I believe that one of the most effective ways the Alumni Chapter can best serve students and alumni is to build an interface for demonstrating real-world applicability and value. This may take the form of a blog, website, events, or speaking engagements. We have the ability to connect to various subject matter experts and industry leaders and highlight their voices. I believe that we will see higher levels of engagement when new students and alumni see that the Alumni Chapter is not only focused on itself, but is providing resources and connections to the outside working world.
I will bring to the Board a wealth of experience in applying my education to various industries and endeavors. Currently, I am a Senior Advisor for a national law firm focused on cybersecurity, open source intelligence, and blockchain technology. I previously supported an international law firm by leading a three-year investigation into disinformation campaigns that were fueling an international political crisis in the Middle East. Prior to that, I was an intelligence analyst who supported physical security operations that protected high value individuals and major sporting events across the world. I began my career as a Mediterranean analyst after graduating from the international dual degree program and I became a training specialist for the United States Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, where it was my job to educate service members on the various dimensions involved in international conflict (including religious, economic, physical environment, social structures, etc.). I have experienced many trials, tribulations, and successes throughout my career journey and I believe that sharing my experiences can further empower those seeking to learn.
Olivia Hord, Director-at-Large
2020 - B.S. Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Malta Dual Degree Program M.S./M.A.
The Carter School has been my higher educational institutional for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. From the people I have met to the courses I have taken; this institution has given me newfound knowledge and appreciation for academia (and knowledge building both inside and outside the classroom!) It equipped me with the skills and knowledge to get where I am now, and I would love the opportunity to continue the great work the Carter School does for more students and alumni.
I believe that access is the key to serving Carter School students and alumni. Access to alumni events that can be held in both person and online can allow for our global alumni network the opportunity to engage with one another. Students having access to mentors from Carter School alumni can help them achieve their goals and see what a degree from the Carter School can do. Access is the key to serving our students and alumni at the Carter School.
As someone who attended both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Carter School, I have a unique perspective to what each category of alumni is interested in. Having attended the Malta program with the Carter School, I would love to be part of bridging that specific alumni group with the Carter School alumni in Arlington. I also handle the social media accounts at my current job, and I would be happy to complete any social media tasks!