Our fourth cohort of Wallenberg International Fellows comprises Stockholm School of Economics and Georgetown University students who are citizens of Australia, Germany, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
Stockholm School of Economics Fellows
Rowan Kurtzis a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics pursuing a degree in Economics. He previously graduated with honors from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and was admitted to Pi Sigma Alpha, a national Political Science honors society. While completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Kurtz spent a semester studying Post-Genocide Reconstruction and Reconciliation in Rwanda where he conducted an independent research project examining issues related to the repatriation of Rwandan refugees. After his bachelor studies, Mr. Kurtz joined Teach For America as a founding 8th grade math teacher at a first-year turnaround school in New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing the program, Mr. Kurtz returned home to Alaska to work at the Anchorage Community Land Trust where he focused on addressing issues of unemployment and inequality in Anchorage. Additionally, throughout his undergraduate studies and subsequent professional experiences, Mr. Kurtz maintained his connection to Alaska by working as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Mr. Kurtz is a native English speaker, has an intermediate knowledge of Spanish, and basic knowledge of Swedish.
Agnes Magnusson is a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics pursuing a degree in Economics. She previously graduated from Stockholm School of Economics with a B.Sc. in Business and Economics, where she wrote a thesis titled “Financial Crises and Voter Attitudes: Exploring Shifts in Demand for Right-Wing Extremist Parties.” Ms. Magnusson’s professional experience includes work within the research and educational sector. She has previously worked as a lecturer for The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise—Sweden’s largest and most influential business federation. Currently, Ms. Magnusson works at the Stockholm Institute for Transition Economics and performs research tasks in the field of transition economics with a focus on one-sided leniency policies. In her free time she enjoys the cultural life of Stockholm and is a frequent visitor at the Royal Swedish Opera House. She is a native speaker in Swedish, fluent in English, and has basic knowledge in Mandarin and Italian.
Aylin Shawkat is a German Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics pursuing a degree in Economics. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Frankfurt and is passionate about international development and poverty alleviation. Ms. Shawkat has extensive experience in academia where she worked as both a teaching assistant and a research assistant, with a strong focus on industrial organization. Furthermore, her professional experience entails working with an NGO in Bangladesh as well as a traineeship with the capital markets team of a German consultancy focused on reputation management, specifically in mergers and acquisitions. At SSE, Ms. Shawkat is engaged in the Effective Altruism Society which she presides over for the year 2017/18. She speaks German, English, French and has basic knowledge of Bengali.
Georgetown University Fellows
Natasha Burrows is a Masters in Asian Studies candidate at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney, majoring in government and international relations. Upon graduation Natasha worked in the development sector as an Australian Volunteer for International Development in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Most recently, Natasha worked at the Public Affairs section at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for the portfolios of alumni engagement and youth outreach at the United States Consulate General Sydney. Natasha has implemented projects encouraging connections within the Asia-Pacific, including as the Director of Program for the Conference of Australia and Indonesia Youth, an organization that promotes track-two diplomacy between young leaders. Natasha has a strong interest in the interaction between states and markets in Southeast Asia. She speaks English and Indonesian.
Katherine Kitson is a candidate for the Master of Science in Foreign Service degree at Georgetown University. She studies Global Business and Finance, and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. In addition to her studies, she serves on the Executive Board of Georgetown Women in International Affairs. She has undergraduate degrees in Comparative Literature and Italian from Indiana University, where she was a member of the Hutton Honors College. Ms. Kitson also holds a Master of Arts degree in Italian Studies from New York University; her thesis focused on contemporary representations of female politicians. Prior to arriving at Georgetown, she worked in the trade promotion office of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, facilitating foreign direct investment between the United States and Italy. During her time there, she lead many international commercialization projects from concept to implementation. Ms. Kitson has also worked as a research volunteer for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is interested in the private sector implications of government policy, particularly with respect to trade, technology, and investments. She is fluent in Italian and has basic knowledge in both Spanish and French.
James Lee is a Masters in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, concentrating in Global Business and Finance and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. Mr. Lee holds a B.A in International Affairs with a focus on International Development from the George Washington University, where he was awarded the Presidential Academic Scholarship. His professional interest lies in integrating business development with technology in the form of public-private partnerships. Mr. Lee’s experiences include work in the humanitarian and the nonprofit sector. Most recently, he worked as a research assistant for the Scholl Chair of International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to Georgetown, he worked at the Grameen Foundation, supporting microfinance and mobile health operations in sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia. He also served as a reconnaissance military police in the Korean Air Force. Having lived in China for nearly a decade, Mr. Lee is an avid consumer of Chinese culture and East Asian affairs. He has native proficiency in English, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.
Our third cohort of Wallenberg International Fellows comprises Stockholm School of Economics and Georgetown University students who are citizens of Germany, Latvia and the United States.
Stockholm School of Economics Fellows
Beatrice Gohdes is a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics pursuing a degree in Economics. She previously graduated from Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich with a B.Sc. in Economics and a B.A. in Chinese Studies and Philosophy. She is highly passionate about Chinese culture and politics and has lived in China multiple times. Ms. Gohdes has extensive work experience in both the public and private sectors such as the Sino-German Cultural and Economic Association in Taipei or Jebsen&Jebsen, a Hamburg based international trading company. Most recently, she helped coordinate an international cooperation project between the Deutsche Bahn and China Railways and helped building the digital healthcare startup Kaia Health. In her free time Ms. Gohdes has been engaged in numerous projects such as founding the Economics Society at SSE or participating in the HULT Prize social entrepreneurship challenge. She is a native German speaker, is fluent in English and Mandarin and has basic knowledge in both French and Swedish.
Agris Jomerts is a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics, studying Finance. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Bocconi University in Milan, where he had been selected to receive the Bocconi Merit Award scholarship. As an undergraduate, Mr. Jomerts worked at Mediobanca S.p.A. within the Debt Capital Markets team, supporting the operations related to multi-billion bond offerings. After his Bachelors studies, Mr. Jomerts joined the EY Transactions Advisory office in the Baltics, where he was involved as the lead analyst on M&A deals in various industries such as telecommunications, real estate, e-commerce and biofuels. Mr. Jomerts is a native Latvian speaker, speaks English fluently, has an intermediate knowledge of Italian and a basic knowledge of Russian and Swedish. Before going to Washington D.C., Mr. Jomerts will also be doing a two-month internship at Cushman & Wakefield in Stockholm, supporting the work of its Capital Markets team which is providing real estate transaction advisory services in the Nordics.
Mats Kröger is a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics, pursuing a degree in Economics. He also holds a Bachelor in Economics from Humboldt-University in Berlin and holds a prestigious scholarship from the German National Merit Foundation. Mr Kröger has a strong interest in the issues of climate change and extensive professional experiences in the private as well as the public sector. These experiences include internships at top-class consulting firms BCG and EY as well as the German development bank KfW, where he worked on financing solutions in the wind energy sector. Working at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy allowed him to further pursue his interest in economic policies. Mr Kröger is native in German, fluent in English and Spanish, and has basic knowledge in French and Swedish
Georgetown University Fellows
Gregory Bernstein is a Masters in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he studies Global Politics and Security and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. Mr. Bernstein attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as an undergraduate, where he studied Government with a concentration in International Relations. While at the Academy, Mr. Bernstein was selected as a 2010 – 2011 Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington D.C. and was published in the Center’s Review for his Fellowship thesis on U.S. international development policy. Following graduation, Mr. Bernstein served in the U.S. Coast Guard for five years, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Bernstein was assigned aboard the USCGC Morgenthau where he conducted counter-narcotic operations in the Pacific waters of Central and South America. Between 2013 and 2015, Mr. Bernstein was the Commanding Officer of the USCGC Terrapin, where he led operations in search and rescue, counter-narcotics, and national defense. In 2015, he transferred to Washington D.C. and completed his military service in the Office of the Deputy Commandant for Operations as a member of Executive Staff and the Military Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commandant for Operations. Mr. Bernstein is a native English speaker and is fully proficient in Spanish.
Kathleen Burke is a Masters in Latin American Studies candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she studies Political Economy and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. Ms. Burke is also a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2016. She also studied for a semester at the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, where she conducted an interactive research project comparing Argentina and Chile with respect to business, trade, and finance. Ms. Burke received the Lauren Bessette Memorial Prize in Economics, in addition to the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Book Prize for her essay on Haitian literature and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Epsilon. She has worked as a Marketing intern at global architecture firm Gensler in New York, where she produced case studies for senior associates and translated selected marketing materials for Latin America offices in Spanish. Ms. Burke has also served as a research volunteer at the Latin American Cultural Association in Buffalo, NY.
Christian Conroy is currently a dual Master in Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) candidate at Georgetown University, where he is focused on using econometric analysis to advise foreign companies entering emerging markets. Prior to Georgetown, Christian most recently served as the GM for the Shanghai office of CRCC Asia, where he led efforts to provide global recruitment consulting to more than 200 host companies across 14 different sectors and organized panels on topics such as mobile technology and entrepreneurial opportunities. He has held several other positions in the private sector, including Supply Chain Security Risk Analyst at BSI Group, Technical Advisor for Psychometrics and Analytics at GSX Inc., and freelance contract writer for Smartbug Media. Christian was also previously a Fulbright Fellow based in Xi’an, China, where he studied the decentralization of education policy with a focus on the distribution of authority between county bureaus of education and primary schools in rural China. During his time in Xi’an, Christian worked with Shaanxi Normal University’s Center for Experimental Economics in Education and Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program to organize and analyze extensive data on human capital in rural China collected through large-scale fieldwork projects. His policy interests include technology disruption, smart city solutions, international development, big data, and just about anything related to China.
In line with the first cohort and the goal of developing future global business leaders, the six members of the second Wallenberg International Fellows cohort represent six different countries: China, Croatia, Eritrea, Germany, Sweden and the United States.
Stockholm School of Economics Fellows
Sebastian Röing is a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics, studying International Economics. He graduated with honors from King’s College at the University of Cambridge. Mr. Röing’s diverse professional experiences have included work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors across Europe. He has previously worked as a trainee for the Delegation of Sweden to the OECD in Paris where he contributed to the Aid for Trade initiative and the OECD Better Life Index. Prior to his experience with the OECD, Mr. Röing worked as an intern at Giving What We Can, and Oxford based organization that aims to increase the efficacy of donor giving, and as an intern at SRM Economics, a London based economic consulting firm where he conducted financial and economic analyses. Mr. Röing is a native Swedish speaker, fluent in English and French, and has a basic knowledge of Mandarin and German. His Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with the Peterson Institute of International Economics performing research and analysis as part of an interdisciplinary team, for two articles and a book on sovereign debt management and financial stability regulation.
Bensam Solomonis a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics pursuing a degree in Economics. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Business. Mr. Solomon’s professional experiences span the public and private sectors, and include internships in both finance and government. Currently, Mr. Solomon works as an intern at Leksell Social Ventures (LSV), Sweden’s first social impact investment company. At LSV, Mr. Solomon is responsible for screening funding applications for socially conscious and economically sustainable businesses, and for helping to shape the company’s corporate communication profile. Mr. Solomon also works as an intern for the Swedish North African Chamber of Commerce, where he provides assistance to both the board of directors and the general secretary. Mr. Solomon is a native Tigrinya speaker, fluent in Swedish and English, has conversational proficiency in Italian, and a basic knowledge of Bulgarian. His Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with Limiar Capital, LLC, a private equity firm focused on emerging markets. His work involved researching several emerging markets, evaluating various aspects including the macroeconomic conditions, political risk, and stock market valuations and culminated in the development an investment thesis for these countries. In addition, he also interned at the International Finance Corporation, at the Office of the Chief Economist in the Thought Leadership Unit.
Alexa Strausis a Masters student at the Stockholm School of Economics studying Business and Management with a specialization in Management, and is the recipient of a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Ms. Straus graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bayreuth in Bayreuth, Germany where she wrote a thesis titled “Non-Financial Reporting: Evolution Challenges and Implementation – the GRI Example.” Ms. Straus has worked in diverse industries analyzing international trade and business. These experiences include an M&A internship at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany where she worked in project management and the preparation of contract negotiations; an internship at Sotheby’s Deutschland in Munich where she researched art market trends and coordinated international sales activities; and an internship at the German Consulate General in Atlanta where she researched political and economic trends. Ms. Straus is a native German speaker, is fluent in English, has an advanced knowledge of Italian, and is conversational in Swedish. Her Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with Medtronic, in the corporate international relations department. She supported the formulation and execution of Public Private Partnerships and worked on market access issues, health economics and regulatory policies for medical devices.
Georgetown University Fellows
Valentino Grbavac is a Masters student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies program. Mr. Grbavac attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he majored in Political Science and History and minored in Russian Studies. The title of his undergraduate honors thesis was: Unequal Democracy: The Political Position of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his time as an undergraduate, Mr. Grbavac was selected to be a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University’s Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. As an undergraduate, Mr. Grbavac also worked as a marketing and sales intern at Extended Exposure, a marketing firm located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. At Extended Exposure, Mr. Grbavac worked to develop strategies for marketing, business development, and market penetration for clients. Mr. Grbavac currently works as a contributing writer for the Institute for Political and Social Research in Mostar, Bosnia. Mr. Grbavac was commissioned by the institute to research and write a book about the contemporary political position of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be published in both Croatian and English. Mr. Grbavac is a native speaker of Croatian, speaks English fluently, is an intermediate speaker of Russian and has a basic knowledge of Italian. His Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at Ericsson, where he supported the Standardization Team in an evaluation of national regulations in different countries to understand their needs, and work together to find a solution that works with country/regional policies, and technology.
Chloe Krawczykis a Masters in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she studies Global Business and Finance and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. Ms. Krawczyk also attended Georgetown as an undergraduate, when she studied Science, Technology & International Affairs with a concentration in Energy & Environment. In 2013, Ms. Krawczyk received a Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Mandarin and was honored as a Peter F. Krogh Scholar. As a Krogh Scholar, she produced original research analyzing China’s human rights transition based on the Spiral Model. Between 2014 and 2016, Ms. Krawczyk was an analyst at an economic consulting firm with global presence, Cornerstone Research, where her casework included international finance, securities, and energy market-based valuation projects. Ms. Krawczyk is a native English speaker, fluent in Mandarin, has a basic knowledge of Spanish, and is attempting to pick up Swedish. Her Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at EQT Ventures, the venture capital arm of global private equity group EQT, where she analyzed fast-growing and innovative technology companies to find promising investment opportunities.
Sylvia Sun is a Masters in Foreign Service candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she studies Global Business and Finance and is pursuing a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. Ms. Sun is also a graduate of the University of Hong Kong, where she graduated with first class honors with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, and the Pembroke-King’s Program at the University of Cambridge where she studied international law and finance. Ms. Sun previously worked as a Liaison Associate for the China Development Research Foundation, where she served as the primary point of contact for 50+ delegates and staff from global firms including McKinsey, BCG, MasterCard, and Bloomberg. She also worked as a seasonal intern for AIA Hong Kong, where she reviewed diverse financial planning products, and ultimately won the Best Presentation Award for presentations to senior management. Ms. Sun has native proficiency in English and Mandarin Chinese, and is fluent in Japanese. Her Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at Investor, A.B. Patricia Industries and Permobil where she split her time doing business development work and Asia market analysis for Permobil followed by work at Patricia Industries working on investment and corporate strategic analysis, financial modeling and valuation work on current and future investments.
Consistent with the goal of developing future global business leaders, the six members of the inaugural Wallenberg Fellows cohort are from five different countries: Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States.
Stockholm School of Economics Fellows
Marta Khomyn is a Master’s student at the Stockholm School of Economics majoring in Finance. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Ms. Khomyn has work experience in the financial and technology sectors. She worked as a consultant at the World Bank (ICT Innovation team), conducted macroeconomic research for Euromonitor International, was a Google ambassador, and has previously interned at Deutsche Telekom’s start-up accelerator hub:raum, allowing her to pursue her interest in technology. Ms. Khomyn’s Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at the World Bank Group, where she worked on designing Rapid Technology Skills Training Programs to improve job creation in the developing world.
Piotr Rozwałka is a Master’s student at the Stockholm School of Economics. He also holds Master’s degrees in International Management and Philosophy from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Mr. Rozwałka has worked in an academic setting, conducting research and teaching, and also has experience at top-class consulting firms McKinsey, BCG, and ABB Group. He has an entrepreneurial mindset and has founded three start-ups focused on import and wholesale, retail, and online auctions. He is also an avid traveler and spent two years exploring more than fifty countries, with a particular interest in conflict-affected areas and the resulting social and economic problems in those regions. Mr. Rozwałka’s Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at the World Resources Institute in the Land Resources Rights Initiative, where he co-authored an economic working paper on the cost/benefit analysis of secure community forest tenure.
Hannes Tordengren is a Master’s student at the Stockholm School of Economics. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. Mr. Tordengren’s experience includes work in international, public, diplomatic and private sector positions. He served in Afghanistan with the Swedish Armed Forces and worked at the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine. Mr. Tordengren also serves as the Secretary General of the Stockholm Model United Nations. His Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, where his work involved research on pension reform, energy efficiency, business regulation and innovation.
Georgetown University Fellows
Alec Albright is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and Eastern European Studies, as well as an alumnus of the Landegger Program International Business Diplomacy. His global perspective is highlighted through experience in international business, research, economic analysis, and database evaluation. Mr. Albright has interests in private equity and venture capital activities in the technology sectors of Scandinavian and Eastern European markets. His Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with Investor AB, Patricia Industries. Mr. Albright conducted analyses on existing investments as well as new potential investments while learning about corporate financial matters, commercial and strategic analysis and valuation.
Olivia Lamb is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the Asian Studies Program, as well as an alumna of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy. Ms. Lamb has experience with international business development in various markets, and has performed analysis of international economics and business policy, with a specific focus on China. Her Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with the Merger and Acquisition Group of Electrolux, where she worked on acquisition projects in different stages of the process, spanning various business sectors and geographies.
Anastasia Nedayvoda is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture, and Technology Program, as well as an alumna of the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy. Her global business interests are supported by work experience in emerging markets, where she witnessed the strategic decision-making process in companies of different sizes and structures. While at Georgetown, she worked as a lead teaching assistant on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Globalization’s Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries at the School of Foreign Service. Ms. Nedayvoda works for The World Bank Group, in the Bank’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Unit. Her Wallenberg Fellows Program internship was with Ericsson, where she helped in strategy development and supported the execution of forward-looking technologies.
Based on their individual interests, Wallenberg Fellows will be matched to internships at premier institutions and organizations related to business, finance, economics, policy, and government.
The internship is designed as an authentic international business experience, centered on a specific project, paper, or other corporate initiative. Given the background and distinction of the Wallenberg Fellows, the international companies that participate will benefit greatly as well, gaining access to some of the most talented students in the world.
SUMMER 2015 INTERNSHIPS
Olivia Lamb’s summer internship was with the Merger and Acquisition Group of Electrolux, where she worked on acquisition projects in different stages of the process, spanning various business sectors and geographies.
Anastasia Nedayvoda was an intern at Ericsson, where she helped in strategy development and supported the execution of forward-looking technologies.
Marta Khomyn’s summer internship was at the World Bank Group, where she worked on designing Rapid Technology Skills Training Programs to improve job creation in the developing world.
Alec Albright interned at Investor AB. Mr. Albright conducted analyses on existing investments as well as new potential investments while learning about corporate financial matters, commercial and strategic analysis and valuation.
Piotr Rozwałka was an intern at the World Resources Institute in the Land Resources Rights Initiative, where he co-authored an economic working paper on the cost/benefit analysis of secure community forest tenure.
Hannes Tordengren’s summer internship was at the Peterson Institute for International Economics where his work involved research on pension reform, energy efficiency, business regulation and innovation.
One of the primary goals of the Wallenberg International Fellows Program is developing future leaders of international businesses as well as public and private organizations around the globe.
All six members of the inaugural cohort had the opportunity to take part in internships at international organizations and companies. We asked them to share some of the key leadership lessons they learned as part of their experiences.