Student Bios

Solomon Tesfaye
II - International Development
Colgate University, 2015
Neuroscience, B.A.
Buffalo, New York
Solomon has been working in consulting (Kantar Analytics) but is looking to explore his roots deeper with an MPA. Trained as a behavioral neuroscientist during his undergrad career he is now interested in the intersection between public policy and psychological phenomenon, particularly as it relates to the refugee/immigrant experience. This past summer, he interned with UNICEF in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivorie. Solomon grew up in a refugee camp in the highlands of Yemen as a political refugee from Ethiopia. His hobbies include chess, futbol (Chelsea F.C.), reading, volunteering and beer.
Bryan Thomson
III - Domestic Policy
Dartmouth College, 2016; Stanford University, 2021
Government, B.A.; Law, J.D.
Boulder, Colorado
Bryan grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016. While completing degrees in history and government, he studied abroad in Pristina, Kosovo, Velez Blanco, Spain and London. After graduation, Bryan returned to the mountain west for a fellowship at the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, where he worked with detained asylum seekers and assisted community members applying for deferred action. He is pursuing a concurrent MPA/J.D. degree at Stanford Law School, where he has focused his studies on public interest class action suits, legal ethics in immigration representation, and human rights law. Bryan hopes to use his experience at the Wilson School to better serve immigrant communities as both a litigator and policy advocate. When he isn't studying, Bryan can be found running trails, talking politics, or experimenting with new plant-based recipes.
Henrietta Toivanen
Claremont McKenna College, 2017
Biophysics/International Relations, B.A.
Kuopio, Finland
Henrietta is a third-year Ph.D. student at the Woodrow Wilson School, with research interests at the intersection of science, technology, and international security policy issues. Specifically, she studies negotiations over arms control and other technical agreements and has a particular interest in the Cold War period and contemporary Iran. She grew up in Kuopio, Finland, in a Finnish-Polish family, before moving to California to receive her bachelor’s degree in biophysics and international relations at Claremont McKenna College. Her past professional experiences have been in Finland, the United States, Switzerland and India.
Anh Ton
III - Domestic Policy
University of California-Berkeley, 2011
English, B.A.
San Jose, California
Anh was born in Da Nang, Vietnam, and grew up in San Jose, California. Her experiences as a first-generation Vietnamese American, replete with code switching and cross-cultural mishaps, shaped her decision to pursue a career in building more inclusive institutions. Anh graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English literature and then cut her teeth in the nonprofit sector. She has raised funds to build schools along the Mekong, studied the habits of Asian American donors, and made grants to national youth development organizations. This summer, she interned at What Works Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded initiative housed under Results for America that focuses on helping local governments improve their capacity to make and implement evidence-based and data-driven policy. Her projects over the summer included supporting the replication efforts of early childhood language development programs; researching promising solutions to housing and homelessness; and preparing for the launch of a policy accelerator program. Before coming back to Princeton, she spent some time in Japan, soaking in Sapporo’s onsens, enjoying Hokkaido melons and Furano flower fields, and deepening her Japanese language skills.
Arturo Trejo
I - International Relations
University of California-Los Angeles, 2005
Astrophysics, B.S.
El Monte, California
Lieutenant Commander Art Trejo is a Naval officer who was born and raised in El Monte, California, and serves as a nuclear surface warfare officer. He most recently served as a reactor safety inspector for the Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He has previously served aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS Essex (LHD 2), and has deployed throughout the world including the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Arabian Gulf. Ashore, Art previously served under a military exchange program as Canada’s representative to NATO and senior staff officer for the Commander of Maritime Headquarters Atlantic in Nova Scotia, Canada. Art has been selected to command a Naval warship and after earning his MPP, he looks forward to his follow-on sea tours as an executive officer and commanding officer. Prior to becoming a Naval officer, Art served for three years as an enlisted Navy air traffic controller. Art is married with three children and loves cooking, movies and finding creative ways to get in into trouble.
Joseph Tso
III - Domestic Policy
Georgetown University, 2011
Culture and Politics, BSFS
Los Angeles, California
Joseph originally hails from Los Angeles, California, but has spent the past decade in the Washington, D.C., area after graduating from Georgetown University in 2011. Prior to WWS, he worked for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a public sector labor union. As a strategic analyst, Joseph developed organizing strategies for both public and private sector union campaigns, and was also involved in internal data analysis for the union. His work in organized labor has instilled in him a particular affinity for understanding collective bargaining law and its impact on working class Americans. Joseph's academic passions center around the role of public policy in marginalized communities, with a specific focus on the effects of healthcare and social services at a state and local level. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, video games and mahjong.
Julia Tuttle
II - International Development
Duke University, 2016
Cultural Anthropology/Global Health, B.A.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Julia is an international development professional with a passion for understanding and addressing policy failures in low-income countries. She comes to the Woodrow Wilson School from Lusaka, Zambia, where she worked for IDinsight, an organization that aims to improve programs and policies through generation and use of rigorous evidence. During her time there, she consulted for foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies working in health, education, social protection, and agriculture. Before that, Julia studied global health and cultural anthropology as an undergraduate student at Duke University. She has previously worked and/or conducted research in Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Switzerland, and Uganda.
Jeffrey Valdez
I - International Relations
University of the Philippines, 2006
Sociology, B.A.
Manila, Philippines
Born and raised in Manila, Jeff is joining the WWS community after a six-year stint at the Philippine Embassy in Moscow where he was responsible for bilateral economic relations. He has been a career foreign service officer since 2010 and has served in various capacities in the home office including, most recently, as assistant director for the Central Europe and Russia Divisions at the Office of European Affairs. He hopes to expand his understanding of asymmetrical bilateral relationships as well as data-driven policymaking in political and economic cooperation. Jeff loves basketball, boxing and table tennis. He also enjoys losing arguments with his wife who is a more accomplished diplomat.
Ryan VanZuylen
III - Domestic Policy
University of California-Los Angeles, 2010
Political Science, B.A.
San Jose, California
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ryan moved to Los Angeles to study political science and global studies at UCLA. After graduating, he and a friend started a nonprofit in East L.A. to mentor children of incarcerated parents. After the program ended due to federal budget cuts, he moved to Madrid to teach English through the Ministry of Education. He then moved to San Francisco to work as a policy intern for the president of the Board of Supervisors and was accepted as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow in the California State Capitol. Ryan worked in the Capitol as a legislative aide helping pass legislation and advise on issues related to housing, K-12 education, higher education, local government and energy. He just finished a summer internship with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development learning about affordable housing finance and helping the agency create a strategic plan to utilize Opportunity Zones in order to leverage more money toward affordable housing. He hopes to continue working in state and local government upon graduation and tends to create acronyms for no reason, incessantly talk about new podcasts he is listening to, and ask how to improve his self-made scavenger hunts.
Alexander Villec
I - International Relations
Georgetown University, 2013
Economics/Government, B.A.
Tucson, Arizona
Alex grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and developed a passion for public service, foreign affairs, and economic development while studying at Georgetown. His semester abroad in Senegal and a one-year Princeton in Africa Fellowship in Kenya after graduation cemented his commitment to service abroad. Over the course of two years in Rwanda with One Acre Fund, a social enterprise focused on the productivity of small-scale farmers, Alex grew interested in China’s engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa and pursued a Fulbright scholarship in Taiwan as a linguistic and cultural entry point to East Asia. After his first year at Princeton, he interned with the State Department at the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, China, focusing on a range of political and economic issues. While at the Woo, he is studying how American foreign policy can contribute to prosperity and stability beyond our shores. Upon graduation, he intends to pursue diplomatic service and represent the U.S. overseas. Alex enjoys foreign languages, running, and cycling, acquainting himself with much of East Africa, Taiwan, and South Korea by bike prior to joining the WWS community.
Brody Viney
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Melbourne, 2014
Economics/English, B.A.
Melbourne, Australia
Brody is an Australian with a passion for economics and public policy and their intersection with political ideology and decision-making. Completing a B.A. in his hometown of Melbourne, his studies covered a combination of economics, English literature and political science – a somewhat eclectic mix of disciplines which allowed him to explore how economic, political and cultural changes can intersect. While completing his degree, he interned with the Grattan Institute – Australia’s foremost independent public policy think tank – and later worked as an adviser to a member of the Victorian State Parliament, focusing on community organising and education and public transport policy issues. He also worked as a writer for the Economics Student Society of Australia and held a number of student leadership positions. After graduating, Brody joined the Australian Treasury in Canberra where he worked for more than three years across issues such as budget policy and fiscal forecasting, retirement income policy and taxation, and consumer law. In 2017, he spent 12 months as one of only two direct advisers to the Secretary to the Treasury, responsible for all economic and policy briefing, speech writing, and strategic advice on public sector management issues. He also worked as executive officer to the Treasury’s Head of Macroeconomic Conditions, working on issues including employment growth, industry change and commodities trade. In 2019, he interned with the Brookings Institution's Workforce of the Future Initiative, where he continued to develop his expertise in labor markets and economic development in the U.S. context.
John Vrolyk
I - International Relations
Yale University, 2010
Ethics, Politics & Economics, B.A.
San Francisco, California
John grew up in San Francisco and attended college at Yale University. At Yale, he majored in ethics, politics, and economics and wrote his senior thesis on intrastate conflict in Vietnam. After graduation, he spent three years as an investment banker, advising on mergers and acquisitions for large-cap consumer, industrial, and telecom companies. In 2013, John traded in the world of finance for that of public service, leaving New York to become a Marine infantry officer. As a Marine, he deployed twice – to a rotational force in Australia and to northern Syria, where he led a motorized platoon as part of the first conventional forces to support the counter-ISIS campaign. After separating from active duty, John worked as a legislative fellow for Congressman Jimmy Panetta, covering defense, foreign policy, and veterans’ affairs. He spent the summer of 2019 at the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism as a Rosenthal Fellow, analyzing emerging right-wing threats and supporting a ministerial on Western Hemisphere terrorism. He continues to serve as a Marine reservist and is currently the executive officer for a rifle company based in Columbus, Ohio. At Princeton, John is a Van Santvoord Merle-Smith Fellow in Public Affairs and a Fellow at the Center for International Security Studies, where he leads the MIL101 team. In his free time, John enjoys running, sailing, 20th century American literature, and good tacos.
Ashwin Warrior
III - Domestic Policy
Seattle University, 2013
Economics, B.A.
Mountain View, California
Ashwin grew up in Minnesota and the California Bay Area but fell in love with Seattle while studying economics at Seattle University. While in Seattle, he served as head coach and program director for Street Soccer Seattle, a nonprofit using soccer to empower homeless youth. After graduating, Ashwin interned at the White House before returning to California and working for Fenton, a public interest communications firm that serves nonprofit and foundation clients. Most recently, he oversaw communications for Capitol Hill Housing, a Seattle-based affordable housing developer and community development corporation. He spent the summer after his first year at WWS working for Enterprise Community Partners in Washington, D.C., supporting their tax policy team's research and advocacy on the federal low-income housing tax credit. After graduating from WWS, Ashwin intends to continue working on housing policy that encourages equitable development in urban areas.
Ryan Warsing
III - Domestic Policy
College of William and Mary, 2014
Government/Theater, B.A.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ryan comes to Princeton from Chicago, where as Neighborhood Services Director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, he implemented small business development programs and oversaw public projects for the local Special Service Area (SSA). He founded the Lincoln Square PaintWorks mural program and was a lead coordinator for the Lincoln Square Master Plan, a long-term vision for the community's growth and improvement. When not on the clock, Ryan lent his (formidable) talents to sketch writing and improv comedy at Chicago's iO Theater. He graduated with degrees in both government and theatre from the College of William and Mary, where among other organizations he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa's Alpha Chapter of Virginia. He is an avid promoter of public art, urban sustainability, and pedestrian-centric planning, and he can often be found taking public transit just for fun.
Alex Wheatley
II - International Development
Princeton University, 2016
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, A.B.
Wichita, Kansas
Alex, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, is a 2016 graduate of Princeton University with a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. She's interested in public health policy. During her SINSI fellowship, Alex rotated through three positions within the Department of Health and Human Services. She worked on respiratory virus epidemiology with the CDC in Atlanta, Pacific-oriented health diplomacy with the Office of Global Affairs in D.C., and paraprofessional program development with the Indian Health Service in Anchorage, Alaska. She spent the summer studying Spanish in Colombia. At Princeton, Alex plays far too many IM sports, reads to the detriment of her sleep schedule, and hangs out wherever there's likely to be free food.