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The Pitch 2023: A Competition of New Ideas

Apr 26, 2023
1:00pm to 3:00pm ET


For the fourth year, CNAS hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security, The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas. Selected applicants made their pitch for innovative policy ideas to meet new challenges in U.S. national security policy in front of a distinguished panel of judges and a live virtual audience on Wednesday, April 26.

This year’s judges included Mycal Ford, a sanctions and financial crimes professional and the winner of best in show at The Pitch 2022; Carisa Nietsche, Associate Fellow in the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS; Alexandra Seymour, Associate Fellow in the Technology and Security Program at CNAS; and Becca Wasser, Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at CNAS.

There was be interactive polling and the audience was able to vote for their favorite pitch to win the people’s choice award. Finalists from each category and the winner of the people’s choice award move on to compete in person at the grand finale during the 2023 CNAS National Security Conference: American Power and Purpose.

The following finalists made their pitches:


Jordan Sun is the vice president of product at Softbank Robotics America

Sam Pandey is an innovation officer with the 75th Innovation Command, U.S. Army Reserves

Mike Tiernan is a master’s candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Imran Bayoumi is an assistant director at the Atlantic Council


Edyt Dickstein is an intelligence officer at the Department of Defense

Jennifer Lee is an associate at the Scowcroft Group

Jolie Grace Wareham is the chair and founder of the Tennessee Democratic Party Cyber Safety Committee and a higher education professional.

Silvia Pera is a psychology doctorate student at the Wright Institute


Jacob Finn is an intelligence analyst for the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group

Kevin Klyman is a research analyst at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Emma Robinson is a dual MBA/MA in international studies candidate at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute

Andrew Olson is an associate research analyst for the Center for Naval Analyses

Anna Blue is an MPA candidate at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and a social impact fellow at the Responsible AI Institute