2019-2020 Intern Biographies


Anna DeGrauw, Research Assistant

P1010938 (1) 3.jpg​Anna DeGrauw is a first year Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) student from the United States. In the past, DeGrauw has worked in non-profit organizations centered around social entrepreneurship, youth parliaments for female activists, and models of sustainable development in Jinja Uganda, Mae Hong Son Thailand, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Her honors bachelor’s thesis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focused on the interaction between constitutional provisions of human rights in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya and spatial justice activism in Nairobi, Kenya. During her time at UNC-Chapel Hill, DeGrauw completed a double-degree in Political Science and Global Studies, and studied at Mahidol University International College in Bangkok, Thailand and Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy. DeGrauw participated in the CCSDD summer school on the European Union and Legal Reform in Igalo, Montenegro, and is currently a research assistant for the CCSDD.

Ruanne ElmalawaniResearch Assistant

fullsizeoutput_4468.jpegRuanne is an Egyptian-American first-year MA student at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and is doing her concentration in International Law & Organizations. She is also the President for the Middle East and North Africa Club. She earned her dual bachelor’s in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.

Ruanne has worked with multiple non-profits where she helped mobilize human rights movements for minorities in the US and helped educate communities about different and diverse backgrounds. She also worked with refugees who resettled in the Central Florida area and provided translation services. Ruanne is very passionate about refugee rights and aspires to work for an international non-profit that supports refugees and people escaping conflict or harsh living conditions.

Alexis KeyesResearch Assistant

CAKeys Headshot.jpgAlexis Keys is a 28 year-old former Director of Development, Education & Community Relations at an Orlando, FL arts nonprofit. She graduated from Emory University, where she majored in International Relations with a focus on International Development in Africa and the Middle East. She is a research assistant at the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development (CCSDD), as well as a member of Global Women in Leadership, VP and founding member of the SAIS Europe Student Diversity Council, and President of SAIS Pride.

As an MAIA candidate at SAIS Europe, Alexis plans to study diplomacy, policy analysis and the conditions serving the proliferation of peace and self-determination in Africa and the Middle East.


Christopher Olivares, Research Assistant

0001Christopher studies international law and organizations at the Bologna campus of The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Affairs (SAIS). His return to school was inspired in part by the three years he spent working as an English teaching assistant in Japan and Spain. In Madrid, Christopher was in charge implementing a Model UN project for students at his school. In addition to designing and presenting lessons on topics such as international organizations, online research, and parliamentary procedure, Christopher was responsible for coaching the school’s ten-member delegation in preparation for the Madrid Global Classrooms Conference. His knowledge of the next generation’s capacity to pursue collaborative and globally-minded solutions plays no small part in the value he places on better international relations as a means of addressing issues related to climate change, gender equality, and nationalism.

Prior to his teaching work, Christopher read political science at St. Edward’s University. His 2015 thesis on the diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States forms the base of his research experience. While in undergrad, he studied abroad in Japan and Cuba. In addition to his native English, Christopher speaks Spanish and Japanese; he is working on French and Italian in Bologna. He hopes to use his time at the CCSDD to deepen his knowledge of Europe and extend his research experience, with a particular focus human rights as viewed through the lens of international law.

Alex FerrazCommunications Manager

Alex is a first-year Master of Arts candidate at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced 20190410_SAIS_OpenHouse_1306International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in International Law & Organizations with a minor in Latin American Studies. He currently serves as the President and founder of the SAIS Basketball club, as well as the Treasurer of the Latin American Studies club.

Alex graduated in 2017 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Political Science and Global Studies, along with a minor in Dramatic Art. While studying abroad a semester in Florence, Italy his senior year, he interned for OXFAM Italia and after graduation worked for PlayMakers Repertory Company (PRC), the professional theatre company on-campus along with Jury-X LLC, a litigation services startup. He possesses dual-American and Brazilian citizenship, and speaks fluent English and Portuguese with intermediate proficiency in Spanish and Italian.

Alex’s career interests center on global security, national intelligence, and the role of human rights in foreign policy. He is specifically interested in organizations including the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

Isaac Warren, Coordinator of the Sarajevo Study Trip 

bio_picture.jpgIsaac Warren is, without a doubt, the best Sarajevo Trip Coordinator currently employed at the CCSDD and has won the much sought-after “Trip Coordinator of the Month” award for two consecutive months now. Hailing from the great state of North Carolina, world renown both for its top-notch BBQ and superior study trip coordination, Isaac holds two Bachelor’s degrees from North Carolina State University in Mechanical Engineering as well as International Relations. As the vast amount of overlap between those fields is well known, Isaac felt that continuing on for the IR major “just made sense”.

After graduating sin luade from NC State, Isaac joined the US Peace Corps in Panama as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene extensionist which is a fancy title that means “guy who cracks awful dad jokes in a jungle, praying to God the locals find one of them funny enough to dig a few latrines”. After leaving Panama several pounds lighter than when he entered, Isaac worked as a Technical Support representative at Epic Healthcare Systems patiently reminding folks to try turning their Electronic Healthcare System off and back on again to solve their problems. Nowadays, when he isn’t planning the Sarajevo Study Trip of your dreams, Isaac can either be found studying International Law and Organizations at SAIS or trying his hand at being a Strat major by burning the world to the ground whilst playing Civilization VI. His other interests include, but are not limited to, finding out what the LD50 of gelato is through self-experimentation, using biased statistics for evil, long walks on the beach, and writing bios fueled by three euro wine.

Zoe Strauss, Research Assistant

Zoe is a SAIS MA student. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture and Communication at Bocconi University. Her undergraduate thesis was on the economics of privacy and the privacy paradox in the era of Big Data, analyzing the consumer trade-off between privacy and sharing personal data. Zoe is half Dutch and half German and is spending her seventh year in Italy. She therefore speaks Dutch, German, English and Italian fluently. At SAIS she is concentrating in International Political Economy and International Economics. Zoe is a member of the only Italian chapter of European Horizons, a global student-led policy incubator on European integration and transatlantic relations.

She is mainly interested in creating policies addressing the development in advanced science and technology. Within this focus she has developed a profound interest for artificial intelligence, both in terms of technological advancement as well as the need to find an appropriate regulatory framework. At CCSDD she would love to explore the legal and ethical framework the European Union is currently developing to tackle the economic and social disruptions AI is expected to produce.

Cinzia Chiriac, Research Assistant

Image previewCinzia is a SAIS Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) second-year candidate and a native of New York City. She has been a research assistant at the CCSDD since September 2018, pursuing projects primarily centered on U.S. constitutional law and Brexit. In her CCSDD encounters, Cinzia participated in the 2019 Sarajevo Study Trip and had the opportunity to engage with the United Nations, World Bank, and EU delegation about the current post-conflict situation Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her academic interests at SAIS focus on international law and trade law, and she is currently developing her thesis on the legal concerns of free-trade zones. Cinzia is also interested in the relationship between regulatory agencies and the private sector, and recently completed a summer internship at Bloomberg with the Government Relations department in London.

Cinzia obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2017 in Political Science concentrating in Law, Politics, and Theory from the University of Delaware. Following her Bachelor’s degree, she worked in compliance and business relationship management in the free-trade zone of the Dubai International Financial Centre. She has also worked in non-profit organizations focused on city economic development and government innovation. Cinzia is a dual citizen of the United States and Romania, and is fluent in English and Italian.