James Horne is a Major in the US Army and a second year dual-degree student with the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Fuqua School of Business. He graduated from The Citadel where he double majored in History and Political Science. Upon graduation he commissioned in the US Army as an Infantry officer in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He later attended the US Special Forces Qualification Course and upon completion, joined 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. While serving in both regular and special operations units, James deployed numerous times in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and deployed in support of oversea contingency operations in the Republic of South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
As a dual degree student, James has an interest in international developmental and how the private sector can be leveraged to support sustainable economic solutions. In his free time James enjoys skiing, Olympic weightlifting, and mentoring Duke undergraduate ROTC cadets.
Madelyne is originally from Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. While in college, she designed and completed a research project studying the prevalence of online sex trafficking on Backpage.com. Her research brought together local community experts, including law enforcement, and the University as a collaborative force dedicated to developing a better understanding of the prevalence of online sex trafficking the Madison area. After college, Madelyne moved to Greenville, North Carolina, where she worked as a third-grade teacher at a Title I elementary school. This experience ultimately led to her decision to obtain her Master of Public Policy degree at Duke University, with hopes of using the degree to create more equity in schools across the country. Madelyne spent the summer interning at the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission and working as a project manager for both Bass Connections and the local consulting firm Fountainworks.
Chas Kissick is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke, and a Master of Business Administration candidate at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, he spent the last six years doing economic research in the Middle East, Africa and Asia for Oxford Business Group. At Sanford, Chas is focusing on technology policy, studying how regulators and tech companies can best deal with how technological developments are affecting society in the US and internationally. In his free time, Chas studies Arabic and tries his hand at programming.
Natasha graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Political Science. After college, Natasha joined Peace Corps-Ecuador as a TEFL volunteer; her primary project was training high school English teachers on student centered teaching methods. Her secondary project as a Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) coordinator motivated her to study Public Policy with a focus on gender equality and migration. She is a second year Master’s student at Sanford. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, painting, watching movies, and baking.
James graduated from the University of North Florida in 2010 with a degree in History and a minor in Criminal Justice. He commissioned through Army ROTC as an Intelligence officer and has spent the last nine years serving in that capacity. His career includes travel to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea supporting military operations. These experiences sparked his interest in both global and national security policy. James loves to BBQ with his family, and his hobbies include basketball, running and golf.
Blake C. Corbitt
Blake graduated from Augusta University in 2012 with a degree in Biology, and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Active Army as a Medical Service Corps Officer. Prior to obtaining his bachelor degree, Blake was a professional Arabic translator in the United States Army from 2003 to 2009 having obtained his Associate’s of Art in Arabic from the prestigious Defense Language Institute and deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006 in this capacity. Since commissioning as an officer in 2012, Blake has functioned as a Chief Medical Administration Officer for a Cavalry Squadron, Deputy and Chief Logistician for a Combat Support Hospital, Deputy Chief of a Resuscitative Surgical Team in Afghanistan in 2017, and most recently as Chief of the largest of 16 regional medical recruiting missions for the U.S. Army. He remains on active duty, and he is interested in Health and National Security Policy which will help him shape the future of Army healthcare.
He is married to his wife Sophia, and they have a dog named Pete and a cat named Atticus. In addition to his love of learning, Blake enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and brewing beer.
Gia commissioned as a Naval Officer in 2012 from the US Naval Academy, where she graduated with distinction as a Chief of Naval Operations Distinguished Graduate and a Bachelor of Science in English. She has spent the majority of her career advising executive leadership on policy implementation in the areas of public affairs, legal, and human resources. Most recently, she was the Director of the Crisis Operations Center in response to the 6 December 2019 terrorist attack in Pensacola, Florida. Gia enjoys spending time with her husband, a Marine Corps pilot, and their two sons. When she is not managing chaos, she enjoys reading, cooking, exploring the outdoors, and running. She continues to serve as a Naval Reservist.
Marc is a career military officer with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis from Norwich University. He has spent the majority of his career in special operations units and national level combat support agencies, serving abroad in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and France. Marc is also fluent in Colloquial Egyptian and Levantine Arabic. Most importantly, Marc is a husband and father of three wonderful children. He enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors and in the kitchen, preferably merging the two.
Robert Mixon graduated from the University of North Georgia in 2010 with a degree in Exercise Science Pre-Physical Therapy and commissioned into the United States Army. While in his first assignment, and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he decided he wanted to focus his career on the local population of foreign countries. Transitioning into Special Operations, he deployed to numerous locations throughout Africa, South America, and the Caribbean working with various organizations on projects to improve local communities and enhance governmental support of the population. This further enhanced his desire to continue working in international relations and strategic studies. In his free time, he enjoys competitive kayak fishing, spending time with his wife Hanna and two children, Logan (10) and Carly (8), and exploring local restaurants.
Adam Schaffernoth graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 with a BS in Business Administration. He then spent nearly four years in investment banking, focused on mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance. Hoping to serve a greater cause, he left finance and joined the Marine Corps as an infantry officer. In his eight years of service, he deployed to Afghanistan, Romania, Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria, South Korea, and Japan. His final assignment was at the historic Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., performing ceremonial duties and full honors funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. He is married with a young daughter and is pursuing a dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration at Duke.