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Master of Arts in International Relations

Alumni Profiles

Giorgio Cafiero, Research Analyst Intern

CafieroGiorgio Cafiero is a research analyst intern with Country Risk Solutions, a cross-border consultancy based in Connecticut. Cafiero is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus and Asia Times Online and he is a non-resident scholar at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis. In 2012 Cafiero's research on the conflict in Western Sahara was awarded third place in an international essay contest sponsored by the American Task Force on Western Sahara. Last winter, Cafiero conducted field research along the Turkish-Syrian border to acquire a deeper understanding of the Syrian crisis' spillover effects in Turkey's Hatay Province. He interviewed dozens of Free Syrian Army militants, refugees, NGO workers and local businessmen. Looking ahead, Cafiero intends to begin a career in the field of geopolitical risk consulting.

Joel Day, Ph.D. Candidate

DayJoel Day is a Research Fellow at the Sie Center for International Security and Diplomacy, where he researches political violence and civil resistance. As a Ph.D. candidate at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, Joel is interested in religious violence and resistance movements, specifically how understandings of afterlife identity influence narratives of conflict and in-group/out-group dynamics. Joel has several publications on these topics, including in the Journal of Strategic Security and the Ottowa Journal of International and Public Policy. Joel has also taught International Relations courses at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the University of Denver. Outside of academia, Joel has served as a foreign policy advisor to a number of US Congressional campaigns and serves on several committees for the Democratic Party. From 2008-2009 he served as Director of Operations for Fair Trade Pictures, where he worked on a human trafficking film with Dr. Cornel West, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Ashley Judd and Grammy Award winning artists ( In the 2008 election cycle, Joel was Iowa Operations Director for a US Presidential Campaign. Joel has also worked with two California Assemblymembers, the County of San Diego. 
Joel holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego, and a B.A. in Political Science from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Dundon, Active-Duty Officer in U.S. Army

Patrick is an active-duty officer in the United States Army and has been a member of its 1st Special Forces Regiment since 1996.  Currently in Afghanistan, LTC Dundon is in a battalion-level command position working in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces.  Since September 11th, 2001, LTC Dundon has commanded and served in primary staff positions in Special Operations units deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Djibouti and Kuwait.  Prior to 911, he deployed frequently to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility as part of Special Operations efforts to increase the capacity of allied nations to counter mutual threats.   A Combat Diver and Dive Supervisor, LTC Dundon earned his MAIR at the University of San Diego (2001) while serving as the Officer-in-Charge of the Diving Phase at the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Center’s Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL course in Coronado, CA.  LTC Dundon has also served at the strategic level in Washington, D.C., as an operations and plans officer within the Special Operations directorates of the Office of the Chairman, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Headquarters, Department of the Army.  LTC Dundon earned his undergraduate degree from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA and he is a graduate of the Command and General Staff course at the U.S. Army’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.


Chris Groth, Program Officer, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

ChrisGrothChris Groth is a program officer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ), where he has provided support for the Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative since 2008. He has traveled to Nepal on seven occasions with IPJ teams to conduct trainings on communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills including army integration and community policing. He has documented the political and security situation in Nepal for publication in the IPJ’s Peace & Justice Update and has co-authored articles on the peace process. Prior to joining the IPJ, he worked as an analyst for SRA International. Groth received an M.A. in international relations from the University of San Diego and graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in social science and sociology. He credits his time in the MAIR program – including two study abroad experiences – for providing him with a strong foundation for his future career. He is happy to speak with prospective or current students regarding his experience in the program.


Kimberly Heinle, Operations Coordinator, Trans-Border Institute

KimHeinleKimberly is a community advocate at Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista, San Diego, and a research associate and editor for Justice in Mexico based in the Department of Political Science & International Relations at the University of San Diego. She received her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Ithaca College in 2008, and her M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego in 2011. Her publications include "Citizen Security in Michoacán," co-authored with Cory Molzahn and David Shirk (2014); "Drug Violence in Mexico: Data and Analysis Through 2013," and “Armed with Impunity: Curbing Military Human Rights Abuses in Mexico," co-authored with David Shirk and Catherine Daly (2012). She regularly contributes to Justice in Mexico’s news monitor and website with written contributions, edits, and oversight.


Jeff Mankey, Advisor for Military and Energy at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research

JeffMankeyJeff Mankey was appointed as an Advisor for Military and Energy in 2013 at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. In this capacity, he supports the work of the Governor’s Military Council as well as alternative energy and zero-emission vehicle initiatives. He is a veteran submarine officer and nuclear engineer, and has a strong interest in energy issues. Following his Naval career, he studied international relations, focusing on international energy policy and the security issues associated with nuclear energy and weapons. In 2012-2013 he served as an Executive Fellow in the Office of Planning and Research. Jeff holds a B.S. in Physics from UC San Diego and completed his M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego in 2012.


Joshua Peters, Active Duty Officer in U.S. Navy

JoshPetersJosh Peters grew up in Eugene, Oregon and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Boston University in 2002. After college he joined the US Navy and has served in 3 different jobs as a helicopter pilot at Naval Air Station North Island. He has made 2 deployments to the Middle East and one to Central and South America. While serving as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor pilot, Josh completed the USD MAIR program with a focus on security issues. While at USD he was able to travel throughout Europe as part of the "Western Europe and Islamic Society" seminar with Dr. Willoughby. Since graduating from USD Josh has been assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 where he made an 8 month deployment aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and theater security cooperation with many of the Gulf States. He plans to stay in the Navy until retirement and then possibly pursue a second career teaching at the college level.

Jo Sletbak, Norwegian Diplomat


Since graduating from the MAIR program at USD in 1990, Jo has spent the last 22 years as a career diplomat with the Norwegian Foreign Service. He has been posted to Embassies in Athens, Bonn, and Berlin and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa. At head quarters in Oslo, he has worked with humanitarian affairs, European matters and issues related to the Western Balkans. In August of 2011 he was appointed Deputy Director General and Head of the Section for Official Visits – responsible for all high level political visits to Norway, State Visits and the Norwegian Royal Family’s official travels abroad.

Masashi Yamazaki, Federal Agent, Department of Defense

YamaMasashi Yamazaki began studying with the MAIR program in 2002 and has since become a federal agent with the Department of Defense. He has been afforded the opportunity to work overseas with responsibilities including identifying, exploiting and neutralizing terrorist and intelligence threats to the U.S. Government.