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IR Insider is a production of NYU's International Relations Society. Our goal is to explain and discuss issues in IR in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion. We are written by students, for students, about issues students care about. 


IR INSIDER is proud to host a talented pool of writers. From freshmen to grad students at NYU, they are marked by a passion for International Affairs. Thanks to them, we are able to renew each category twice/thrice a week with the exception of UN/State/White House and Foreign News Monitoring, both of which will be updated daily. Coming from around the globe, our writers present unique interpretations of the world largely shaped by their own cosmopolitan experiences. 


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ayako ohara 

Ayako is a reporter for Southeast Asia and publishing assistant for IR Insider. She is a first year student at College of Arts and Science with interest in International Politics. She is from Yokohama, Japan. She passionately follows foreign elections and referendums in various regions. Recently, she also closely followed the healthcare bills in the US Senate. Her daily stress buster is cooking or baking for herself and for her friends. However, she occasionally enjoys a trip to Chelsea Market for store bought food. She is at the advance level in skiing. Her favorite part of a day is getting a fresh bagel at a bagel bakery before an 8am class. Her biggest fear is coping with jet lag, however she loves to travel. Her second favorite city in the world so far is Washington D.C. Her dream is to travel to Lebanon to learn Arabic and eat Lebanese food.


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Natasha Williams

Natasha Williams is a junior in the College of Arts and Science double majoring in International Relations Honors and Economics. Being a dual citizen of the US and the UK fluent in both English and French, Natasha has always been rooted with an affinity for international affairs. Her primary areas of research interest include US-European relations, cyber activity, and global human rights violations centering on the international human trafficking trade. Her previous experience has included international legal and social work and domestic nonpartisan work. In the future she hopes to go to Law School with a concentration in International Law, and to one day work in a large international organization.

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Petra is the Alumni Relations and Event Development Chair of the IR Society and a writer for the IR INSIDER. She is a junior in CAS, double majoring in International Relations and Economics. She’s passionate about advocating for human rights, and also has a deep interest in foreign affairs and diplomacy. She is currently interning at the Global Philanthropist Circle at the Synergos Institute.

Jessie Wall

Jessie Wall is an undergraduate at New York University majoring in Politics. She is involved in the Politics Society on Campus. Her interests revolve around foreign affairs and specifically the interplay between ethnic conflict, immigration, and collective action. Jessie is from Lenoir City, Tennessee where she graduated valedictorian. Outside of academics, she can be found playing trombone in the NYU Orchestra, learning foreign languages, and being outside.



alex mason

Alex Mason Pazmiño is a writer in the Latin American section of the International Relations Insider. From Quito, Ecuador, Alex is currently a sophomore at New York University. His academic focus area is Latin America, as it is a region that fascinates him for its cultural diversity, rich history, and decisive political and cultural factors that have influenced its present issues. A key interest of his is how the dictatorships of the 20th century has shaped Latin America’s future and developmental process.

natalie chun

Natalie is a writer for the Latin America section, and a first year student at NYU. She is in the Liberal Studies Core Program, hoping to major in International Relations and minor in Spanish. Natalie loves traveling, playing guitar, and watching movies. When she’s not napping, she can often be found buying used books or eating trendy food. Her least favorite things include radio static, taxes, and poor tippers.

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Annika Squires

Annika Squires is currently a Freshman at New York University. Born and raised in Dallas, Annika has been interested in Human Rights and International Relations for a number of years. Her primary areas of research interest include Genocide, immigration, human trafficking, as well as political situations in different Latin American countries. In her free time Annika loves to workout, cook, and travel.

Selin Avcilar

Selin Avcilar is a freshman Economics student at New York University.  Although she was born in Manhattan, she was raised in Istanbul and also lived in Portugal. In addition to English, she speaks Turkish, Portuguese, French, and Spanish. Having grown up in a very multicultural household, she is fascinated by the business world and loves to learn about different countries. Her favorite hobby is traveling, and she has already visited over 18 countries around the world. During her free time, she enjoys going out on runs, exploring different parts of New York City, and cooking.



jacob lui


Jacob Lui is currently a sophomore at Steinhardt studying Social Studies Education. He is really excited to be part of the IR community, and is looking forward to working with INSIDER team this semester! 



Ian Sanders is a first year student at the NYU School of Liberal Studies. He is a member of the NYU Fencing Team and often travels nationally and internationally for competitions. Ian enjoys spending his time practicing his sport, following the news, and debating politics. He grew up in the town of Wilton, Connecticut and attended the local high school. Ian hopes to major in international relations following a lifelong dream of getting involved in world politics. He is passionate about global conflict, the environment, and human rights.



Leigh Anderson is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences studying Journalism and Cinema studies with a minor in Spanish. Since studying abroad in Madrid last spring, she has been set on working toward a career in international news or political journalism. Passionate about human rights and education, she strives to help people open their minds to new perspectives about social change through her writing. When she’s not reading up on the latest news, she can probably be found indulging in several different pasta dishes at once. To balance out her love for carbs, Leigh is also an avid runner and hopes to one day compete in the New York City marathon.


brandon weaver

I was born and raised in a suburb just outside of San Diego, CA. Since I was a child, I've always been interested in politics and government. As I got older, I recognized that I also enjoyed writing; political journalism was perfect for me. I already read countless newspapers and magazines already, I felt like it was perfect for me. To pursue my goals, I decided to go to NYU and study among the best. In my free time, I enjoy dogs, the beach, and having coffee with good friends. I also enjoy writing poetry, seeing musicals, and warm weather.



sarika bhattacharjee

 Sarika is a writer ing the South Asia section of IR Insider. She is a member of the International Relations Society and the Dean’s Honors Service Corps. Her greatest passion lies in public speaking; throughout high school, she competed in Model United Nations and NSDA Public Forum debate. She is also extremely interested in social issues like race relations and media consumption. She was honored by the Princeton Prize in Race Relations in 2015 for her work in combining both her love of media and her interest in promoting racial harmony to create a video project and a Facebook forum for her peers to discuss race-related current events. Her two greatest hobbies outside of academia are dancing and singing, and she is classically trained in Bharatanatyam, an ancient Indian dance form.

Claire Beutter

Claire is a freshman at NYU’s College of Arts and Science studying Politics and Romance Languages. She is on the pre-law track and hopes to someday work in the field of international human rights law. Currently, she is an editorial intern for Mood of Living and the founder/editor of, a blog dedicated to promoting ethical and sustainable living. Claire is also a former pre-professional ballet dancer.



helen you

Helen You is an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Science pursuing a BA Honors Major in International Relations with a minor in Philosophy. Originally born in Seoul, South Korea, Helen was raised in Westchester, New York with two siblings and two dogs playing soccer, lacrosse and running track in her spare time. Upon graduation from NYU, she plans on joining the Peace Corps to assist in youth development and education in underprivileged countries. Her interest in foreign affairs and humanitarian issues was fostered during her first year away in Florence, Italy where she spent the year studying geopolitics in the context of the refugee crisis and climate change. She hopes to one day attend law school to obtain her J.D. and L.L.M to work on foreign affairs at the State Department as a diplomat to address U.S. relations in Europe.


jaella  brockmann

Growing up in Germany, Jaella discovered her curiosity for all kinds of structures, perceptions and dynamics. This led her to pursue her first steps as a journalist for several local newspapers. She started narrowing her focus when it became clear that journalism and its uncountable possibilities to educate oneself was more than just a temporary passion. While finishing her BA in Sociology, Economics and Politics in Germany and Canada, she experienced the difficulties of political censorship during my internship at DiscoverME. She then dived into the various possibilities of interning and working for the political department of FOCUS in Berlin and Washington, D.C. She believes that journalism offers more than descriptive information and is a way to disrupt, broaden perspectives and question a world we take for granted.  


rowena henley

Rowena attended NYU's journalism school from 2016 to 2017. Since graduating NYU and returning to London, she has taken up a job as copy editor at the online culture and travel magazine Culture Trip.



zoie brauser

Zoie is looking to major in International Relations in NYU’s College of Arts and Science. Her interest in studying International Relations stems both from her participation in Public Forum debate and a student-run Current Events Club during high school. She is now a part of NYU’s International Relations Society and is excited to write for the Middle East/North Africa section of IR Insider. Besides international affairs she is also interested in learning more about domestic issues. She volunteers with an organization called Generation Citizen in which she works with a local twelfth grade class to help them take action to fix an issue within their community. She is also a member of NYU’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, which is a public policy think tank that seeks to address systemic community issues. In her free time she enjoys hiking and reading, particularly nonfiction by David Foster Wallace.




Euan McArdle is a Senior writing for the Oceania and Southeast Asia region. When not writing, he dedicates some time to his double major in Economics and Political Science. As for the other 90% of this time, you can catch him reading, fanning over Doctor Who or Game of Thrones, or thinking about the countless other shows he needs to watch. He is also prone to occasionally just falling over myself and vegetating on his bed as he attempts to acquire precious sleep. As for what he loves - aside from his wonderful self of course - it’s primarily his crotchety old-man of a dog and the absolute treasure that is Sir David Attenborough.

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Brendan Yap

Brendan Yap is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is an Economics major in CAS and is looking to complete minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. Brendan has long been interested in the field of journalism and publication – as a high school senior, he served as his school magazine’s Editor-in- Chief. He is capable of speaking and writing in both English and Malay, the national language of his home country. He also has a strong interest in international politics and economics.



Riley Restori

Riley is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She is a second year student in Liberal Studies and will be majoring in International Relations and Economics.




Angie Lin is a freshman in NYU Stern preparing to major in finance. Although she was born on Long Island, she grew up in Singapore and is excited to be back in New York. With a passion for the business world, she has joined IR Insider as a writer for the Economics & Business section. She is also a member of Undergraduate Stern Women in Business, the International Business Association, and NYU Net Impact. Outside of Stern, Angie enjoys playing the piano and viola, working out, eating, and napping.


Shramen Sen

Shraman Sen is an undergraduate student studying economics and mathematics at New York University. Shraman has participated in various research assignments ranging from constructing an interactive middle school math syllabus to conducting an economic analysis for a medical drug. Currently he is working on an applied mathematics research assignment under Columbia university faculty. Shraman was a delegate at the 2017 United Nations youth assembly and is an ambassador for the NYU UN Initiative. Outside of his academic pursuits, Shraman plays the sitar. 


audrey ren

Audrey Ren is currently a sophomore at NYU Stern School of Business preparing to major in Finance and Computer Data Science with a minor in Arabic language studies. The business-related courses she took at Stern deepen her knowledge of foreign financial markets and prepare her to seek creative solutions. Growing up in China and Canada, she has harbored much cosmopolitan awareness and has joined IR society as a writer for the Economics & Business section to better cultivate her knowledge under diverse cultural settings to gain global insights.




Alex Zhang is currently a sophomore studying finance and data science at NYU stern. Born in Chongqing, China and finished his high school education in Vancouver, Canada, Alex has a bilingual background as well as a strong ability to adapt to new environment. With great passion in culture, art, and new technology, Alex joins IR Society at NYU and works as a writer covering Tech & Science section. A newcomer to investigative journalism, Alex looks forwards to fulfilling his mission by providing the readers with the newest information on rising technologies and science. Besides writing and studying, Alex can be found jogging, food hunting, and most of the time playing video games somewhere in Manhattan.

Fei Zhao

Fei Zhao is a senior neuroscience major with minors in chemistry and psychology. She is the treasurer for IR Society as well as a managing editor and writer for IR Insider. Fei currently works at NYU's Center for Neuroscience at the Movshon lab doing research on the effects of adaptive stimuli on visual texture discrimination.  In her free time, when she's not busy recovering from sleep deprivation, she enjoys figure skating, binge-watching TV shows, and playing piano.


Ananya misra

I’m Ananya Misra, a freshman majoring in Finance at Stern. Though from Dubai, I’ve quickly called New York City my home. My interests range from international relations, ukulele, tennis, Suits, app development, foreign affairs and things out of this world; quite literally as I’m hoping to minor in astronomy. My career aspirations center around venture capital, which combines my traits of being a risk-taker and business-minded. I’m keen to write too, having had several works published in yearbooks and school newspapers. My day starts by reading the news with everything from politics to science and the environment. 




Chelsey Sanchez is a junior studying Journalism and Politics at CAS. Before IR Insider, Chelsey worked as the digital editor at Santa Monica College's newspaper, The Corsair, and as an editorial intern for Flaunt Magazine. She currently works as Washington Square News' digital director. Other than constantly attempting to stay afloat in the never-ending news current of politics, she enjoys writing creatively, shopping recklessly, and face timing her dog back home in LA.



lorraine schmucker

Lorraine is the music and culture writer for the IR Insider. She was born in Manhattan and grew up in Sunnyside, Queens, where she still lives with her parents and older brother. She came to NYU in fall 2015, and is a cinema studies and journalism double major. Currently a junior, she hopes to write for a newspaper or magazine upon graduation. She is a big fan of Disney, horror, Katharine Hepburn, and The Chainsmokers. 

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william kim 

William Kim is a sophomore at NYU studying Media, Culture, and Communication and Journalism in Steinhardt and CAS. He is from Los Angeles, California and loves adventure and the outdoors. His hobbies include reading novels and writing. His interests are in social media and technology. He loves to travel and explore many places while taking pictures and creating memories. Fun fact about him is that he has an older, identical twin brother who is currently attending college in Southern California. He hopes to learn from and serve the team through his contributions in the Media Monitor section.  

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Kevin Moya

Kevin Moya is currently a freshman in the College of Arts and Science pursuing a double major in Economics and Politics. He was born in London and has lived in the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and the United States. In high school Kevin took an active role in a variety of clubs, ranging from the Wind Ensemble to the Orchestra to the French Honor Society. Outside of school he ran the nonprofit Wilton Roots of Music, an organization which introduces children ages 5-12 to music over the summer. He has also volunteered at the Philippine Red Cross to distribute goods to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Additionally, he was an intern at Morgan Stanley during the summer of 2017. In his free time Kevin enjoys reading, biking, watching Netflix, and, most importantly, finding places to eat great food.

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      julia radke

Julia is a sophomore majoring in International Relations and Journalism. She spent her freshman year studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She is looking forward to writing for the IR Insider because it’s the perfect combination of two of her favorite subjects–international politics and journalism. Some fun facts about her: she loves dogs and she tries to take pictures of the cute ones she sees on her way to class. She has an irrational fear of frogs, and she loves orange juice, sushi, and cheese (not together though).


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Julia Guo

Julia Guo is currently working as a publishing assistant and a event reporter for the International Relations Society at NYU. Julia is a freshman on a pre-law track in the College of Arts and Science at NYU, intending to study International Relations. Born and raised in Beijing, Julia is looking forward to exploring other cosmopolitan cities in the world. She is also passionate about globally common interests like food eating and makeup. Julia is also a Taylor Swift fan (and takes no shame in admitting that). She values her Chartreux cat the most. 


Pooja Nayyar

Pooja Nayyar is a freshman in the Liberal Studies Core Program. She was born and raised in New Jersey and attended the Ranney School from kindergarten to twelfth grade. As a high schooler, she was co-editor of her school’s yearbook and a staff writer for her school’s newspaper. Pooja also served as President of the National Spanish Honor Society, Vice-President of the Science National Honor Society, and secretary for the Art National Honor Society. She was also the co-founder and co-president of the tutoring service Friends for Learning and president of the club Cooking for a Cause. At NYU, Pooja is a copy-editor and photographer for the Washington Square News and an e-board member in the International Cultural Exchange club. She is also a member of the International Relations Society, Politics Society, and Liberal Studies Law Co-op. In the future, Pooja plans on studying and possibly majoring in International Relations.



Renee Firth is a freshman in the College of Arts and Science at New York University studying International Relations and Philosophy, and is a writer for South Asia at the IR Insider. After a semester abroad in Israel her junior year of high school, she decided to dedicate herself to studying world cultures and conflicts, and is particularly interested in enhancing public knowledge in order to facilitate better understanding of the world. Renee is also involved in the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, College Democrats, and Jewish life at NYU. In her free time, Renee can be found enjoying a good boba milk tea and getting lost in Greenwich Village with her friends.