June 11, 2021

CNAS Announces the Finalists for The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

Washington, June 9, 2021—Today, CNAS announced the finalists for The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas, CNAS’ premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. The Pitch will be hosted on June 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT as part of the 2021 CNAS National Security Conference. The conference, A New American Security, will explore emerging challenges and ideas over four days of engaging panels and live events with CNAS experts and guest speakers.

The following selected applicants will make their pitch for innovative policy ideas to renew American competitiveness in front of a distinguished panel of judges and live virtual audience:

Sharpening America’s Innovation Toolkit

James Mersol is the Publications Manager at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Walker Mills is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

Bethan Saunders is an MPP Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School.

John S. Vrolyk is a Cyber Policy Analyst at Department of the Treasury.

Reimagining America’s Alliances and Partnerships

Rachel Brooks is a Rotary Peace Fellow and MA Candidate at the University of Bradford.

Andrew Hanna is a Program Specialist in the Middle East North Africa Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Sophia Lugo is an Associate Strategy Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Abigail Wulf is the Director of the Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy at SAFE.

Strengthening America’s National Security Institutions

Jake Brooke is a contractor in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and an M.A. Candidate at Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies.

Major Jamil L. Brown is a Fellow for the US Air Force Academy Institute for Future Conflict.

John Dale Grover is a foreign policy researcher and writer based in the D.C. area.

Sara Plana is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a pre-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

For more information or media inquiries, contact Shai Korman at comms@cnas.org.