Currently seeking placement
Essam is the founder and Executive Director of The Artists Sanctum, a non-profit dedicated to socio political art and community discourse. When not making art and running a non-profit Essam can often be found on Capitol Hill working as a public policy advocate for veteran and military-related issues.
Rep. Jason Crow
Chris graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 2011 and commissioned as an Armor officer. For the first half of his Army career, he served in the 1st Infantry Division as a Scout Platoon Leader then as a Troop Executive Officer where he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon completion of his time as an Executive Officer, Chris joined the Civil Affairs branch. After completing the Special Operations Captain’s Career Course and Civil Affairs Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, N.C., Chris studied Chinese Mandarin at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (JFKSWCS) and was subsequently assigned to support Special Operations Command Pacific.
During his time as a Civil Affairs officer, he deployed twice to the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh where he and his team worked to further Special Operations Command counter-terrorism efforts and to support a variety of inter-agency goals. These included contributing to the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Eastern Bangladesh, synchronizing defense and USAID initiatives, and working with U.S. Country Team equities to respond to Chinese expansion in the region. It was during his time serving overseas while working to further U.S. strategic goals that Chris developed his interest in understanding and ultimately hoping to help shape U.S. policy.
Chris will continue to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs officer and looks forward to continuing the important work of furthering U.S. priorities in the Pacific and around the world.
Rep. Kendra Horn
Conner Swett is a Marine Corps veteran, serving nine years on active duty and currently a member of the Marine Corps Reserves. As a military paralegal, he served the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and worked on modernizing SAPR in the Marine Corps. During a 3-year tour as an embassy security guard, Conner developed a great interest in foreign policy and national security. Upon leaving Active Duty, he attended the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where he studied international security. Conner has since been with the U.S. Navy, managing the NICS Crime Reporting project.
When not reading or enjoying the outdoors, Conner volunteers with the local Capital Area Food Bank, The Mission Continues, a veteran-led organization; and on congressional outreach for Legacies of War, an advocacy organization working to address the impact of conflict in Laos during the Vietnam War. Conner has a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security from American Military University and a Master of Arts in International Security from the University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
Rep. Joe Cunningham
Originally from Coal City, Illinois, Luke enlisted in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician in 2008. The majority of his naval career was served in Japan, completing 12 deployments to regions including the South China Sea, Southeast Asia, and Australia. He was part of the first search and rescue operations during Operation Tomodachi, and completed a variety of other missions. While serving in the Navy, he graduated with highest honors from Post University with an associate’s degree in Accounting. He then graduated with distinction from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations.
A passionate advocate of education, labor, and veterans, Luke has assumed various roles of leadership in organizations such as Service to School, Student Veterans of America, and the Warrior-Scholar Project with the goal of empowering student-veterans at top academic institutions and ensuring they have the tools and resources needed to succeed. Being a recent student-veteran graduate, Luke brings extensive advocacy experience regarding student-veteran concerns at top academic institutions. Most recently, he advised Ivy League university administrators on student-veteran success and recruitment, leading to a significant increase in student-veterans at top academic institutions throughout the country.
In 2018, Luke was recognized for his veteran advocacy efforts by Student-Veterans of America as a Student-Veteran of the Year Finalist. He has experience on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Duckworth, where he advised the Senator in the areas of national defense, labor, higher education, civil rights, and veterans issues. He served as President of the Ivy League Veterans Council from 2017-2018. Luke eventually plans on continuing his studies by way of law school and a master’s degree in Public Administration.
Rep. Seth Moulton
Adam is originally from Metuchen, New Jersey. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2014 with a joint major in government and economics and a minor in international studies with a Middle East concentration. In the fall of 2012, he studied abroad in Morocco where he studied Arabic, North African politics, and Islamic religion. Over the course of two summers in college he interned at the Hudson Institute. While at Hudson he supported research related to the impact of sequestration on US defense readiness, naval affairs, and other national security issues. He has also interned with the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and the House Committee on Homeland Security.
In the winter of 2016, Adam reported to the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate Course (OCC) 221 in Quantico, Virginia. Upon completion of OCC-221 in March 2016, he was assigned to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico. He started TBS that July and graduated in December. After graduation, he was designated an aviation command and control officer and received orders for Marine Air Support Squadron-1 (MASS-1) located in Cherry Point, North Carolina. He supported numerous exercises to include Integrated Training Exercise, Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, and ULLR Shield while with MASS-1. He left the Marine Corps in March 2020 and is currently pursuing his M.A. in international relations with a concentration in US foreign policy and national security from American University’s School of International Service.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta
Matts Wilcoxen is originally from Norwalk, Connecticut and grew up in the St. Louis area. During his time in college, Matts interned on a U.S. Senate campaign in Connecticut, for the House of Representatives both on the Hill and in a district office, and worked as a Field Office Manager for two successful congressional campaigns.
Matts graduated from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville in 2016 and commissioned as an Armor officer. After training at Ft. Benning, Matts was assigned to the 1st Armored Division as a Tank Platoon Leader. Matts deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield where he later became the Company Executive Officer. Upon return from deployment, Matts was selected as the Headquarters Company Executive Officer and later as Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commanding General and Acting Senior Commander of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, TX. Matts left active duty in April 2020 to work in communications consulting for tech clients in the San Francisco area. Matts remains in the Army Reserve as a Civil Affairs officer.
For Country Caucus (Rep. Van Taylor)
Matt was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. In college, he became a Spartan at Michigan State University (MSU) where he graduated with a BA in international relations with a minor in computer science. Immediately following graduation in 2016, he commissioned as an Army officer via MSU’s Army ROTC program and headed to Fort Benning, Georgia to complete infantry officer training. After training, Matt headed to Europe where he was assigned to the 2d Cavalry Regiment in Germany. He served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and battalion planner. Following the completion of his tour in Europe, Matt had an encore tour at Fort Benning for his final year of active duty military service at Fort Benning with Army Futures Command. He tested and evaluated new technology that the Army was considering adopting. Upon leaving active duty, Matt transitioned to the Army Reserves where he continues to serve as a Civil Affairs officer.
Matt’s undergraduate education and military experience have furthered his interest and passion for public policy. Having experienced the front-line implications of U.S foreign policy at the micro level, he is interested in the opportunity to help shape foreign policy at the macro level. Matt is also interested in the study of renewable energy systems, and the intersection of new technology and public policy in the 21st century.