Charles Johnson, Editor-In-Chief

27e7351Charles Johnson is the Editor-in-Chief of Ramen IR. His writings primarily focus on Eurasia and the NATO alliance. He graduated with an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and a BA in History and International Relations from Boise State University. He also served as an Education and Youth Development Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia with the US Peace Corps. Charles has worked in economic affairs with the US State Department and on NATO Policy with the US Department of Defense. His Twitter is @Chase_Johnson

Antoinette Siu, Editor

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUqAAAAJDg0Y2RjY2JiLWI4MDEtNDhmNC1hNTQzLWY4NTgwNjE2YmI5NAAntoinette Siu is a member of the Ramen IR editing team. She is an award-winning journalist who finds inspiration in telling underreported stories. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she received her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley and her MA in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism at the SI Newhouse School of Public communications at Syracuse University. Her Twitter is @antoinettesiu



Connie Shieh, Editor

292c39aConnie Shieh is a member of the Ramen IR editing team and is currently teaching high school students in Boston, MA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Literatures in English at the University of California, San Diego, and completed her graduate studies in Education at the University of Southern California. Her interests include maternal health, promoting literacy, college access for underrepresented minorities, and running very long distances. Her Twitter is @cyshieh


Barclay Bram, Editor and Contributor

6ZPNTFy0Barclay Bram has an MSci in International Relations and Global Issues from the University of Nottingham. An excerpt of his Thesis, The Dragon & The Flea, about terrorism in Western China, was published by Taylor & Francis in the journal The International Affairs Forum. His work has appeared in The Diplomat, The Huffington Post, and The Millions. His Twitter is @barclaybram



Felipe Cruvinel, Contributor and Visual Production Specialist

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAboAAAAJDYxZjFiMzA4LTk0MmMtNDNhMS1iNTA1LTc3MGMxYjY1NDUzNwFelipe Cruvinel recently completed a Master’s Degree in International Security at the University of Saint Andrews, after getting a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Queen Mary University. His interests include security and foreign policy matters at the global level, and Counterinsurgency in particular. This has been reinforced by a life-long interest in History and constant desire to learn more about the long term cycles and trends of political systems. His Twitter is @FCruvi


Richard Barta, Editor

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Richard Barta received his Master’s Degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs where he focused on national security policy and U.S. diplomacy. While at the Humphrey School, Richard served as a Senior Editor and Board Member of the school’s public affairs review. Richard’s interests lie in Western Hemisphere politics, nuclear non-proliferation policy, economic sanctions policy, and issues related to internally displaced persons. His professional record includes experience with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as research positions within the university and advocacy sectors. Originally from the Twin Cities, Richard completed his undergraduate degree in Latin American history and international political economy at the University of Minnesota. His Twitter is @R__Barta.

Luis Ferreira Alvarez, Contributor

self pic 10Luis Ferreira Alvarez is an Analyst specializing in Latin America energy policy, with research and analytical experience on trade, as well as social and security policies in the Western Hemisphere. Luis worked for the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, non-partisan policy think tank. He also worked for the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy think tank that focuses on US-Latin American relations. Luis holds a MPA from Cornell University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His Twitter is @lferreira2190

Olga Novitsky, Contributor

LinkedIn Photo_NovitskyOlga Novitsky previously served as a graduate fellow at the Peace and Security Funders Group, a network of foundations and philanthropists who make grants that contribute to global security. Olga Novitsky received her MA from Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program with a concentration in Intelligence. She received her BA in International Studies  from Boston College. She is regionally focused on Europe and North Africa, and her research interests include intelligence, legal and illicit weapons trade, and non-conventional weapons proliferation.

Heidi Obermeyer, Contributor

11a8889Heidi Obermeyer is the Program Coordinator at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters program and has studied and worked in Berlin, Munich and Bath, England. Her Twitter is @HeidiObermeyer



Colin Reed, Contributor 

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Colin Reed is a recent graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He received his undergraduate degrees in History and International Studies from North Carolina State University, where he was a junior fellow in the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and presented thesis research on the effectiveness of UCAV operations in Pakistan. He specializes in NATO-Russian relations, naval strategy, and intelligence methods. He is currently employed as an operations analyst in the private sector.

Articles written by multiple staff members can be found here.


To read about Ramen IR’s founder, please visit our Founder’s Page


Interested in becoming a staff member? Send us an email at


Former Staff (and now Guest Contributors)

Sebastian Bae, Executive Editor and Senior Contributor (2015-2016)

063908fSebastian J. Bae was Ramen IR’s Executive Editor and a Senior Contributor from 2015-2016. Sebastian J. Bae, a star contributor to Best Defense, served six years in the Marine Corps infantry, leaving as a sergeant. He deployed to Iraq in 2009. He received his masters at Georgetown University’s security studies program, specializing in violent non-state actors and counterinsurgency. He co-holds the Marine chair on Best Defense’s Council of Former Enlisted. Follow him on Twitter @SebastianBae.


Stephanie Ranks, Senior Editor (2014-2016)


Stephanie Ranks is the Senior Editor for Ramen IR and is currently enrolled as a PhD student in English at Yale University.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology, English, and Celtic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Her interests include women’s rights, the place of religion in government, and the freedom of the press.



Fiona Wong, Contributor (2016)

AAEAAQAAAAAAAASwAAAAJGJkZDcwMjU3LWUzN2YtNGIyMS1iMjkzLTU3NGRmNmVjZjMyYwBorn in Singapore but raised in Britain, Fiona Wong completed her Bachelor of Science in Politics with International Relations at the University of Bath, before recently finishing her M.A. in European Politics, Policy and Society at the University of Bath, Univerzita Karlova v Praze and Università degli Studi di Siena. She currently lives and works in Tuscany, and is seeking an opportunity to further explore identity politics, immigration, and asylum policy. Her Twitter is @caipirinha27.


Kelsey Fraser, Contributor (2016)

FullSizeRenderKelsey Fraser is an American ex-pat currently living and working in Germany. She has a Masters in Transatlantic Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spends most of her time reading about human rights, European history, and thinking about when is the appropriate time for her next cup of coffee. Twitter handle @klfraser7.



Sarah Graveline, Contributor (2015-2016)

AAEAAQAAAAAAAASPAAAAJDZiMzk3OTljLTcyZjgtNGVmZS05ZWNjLTZjNzdiNTdjY2RkNgSarah Graveline was a member of the 2015/2016 Ramen IR writing team and currently conducts research on political and security issues in Africa. She has worked for the National Defense University and the U.S. Institute for Peace. She was a 2014 Boren Fellow in Kenya where she completed a project on military professionalization. She has also conducted research on security sector reform and aid efficacy in South Africa and Uganda. She holds an MA from Georgetown University and a BA from Emory University. Her Twitter is @sarahgraveline

Nicholas Weiland, Contributor (2014)

Nicholas Weiland was a member of the 2014 Ramen IR writing team and is currently employed as a Contractor for the United States Institute of Peace. He is from Bainbridge Island, WA. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Linfield College, Nicholas spent a year abroad, teaching English in Loudi City, China. He recently received his master’s degree in the U.S. Foreign Policy program at American University’s School of International Service. His areas of focus include National Security Studies, Intelligence Analysis, and Non-Proliferation.

Walter Thompson-Hernandez, Contributor (2014-2015)

Walter Thompson-Hernandez was a member of the 2014 Ramen IR writing team focusing on Latin-America. He is currently a researcher at the University of Southern California, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). He is a native of Los Angeles, California, and a recent graduate from Stanford University with a Master’s in Latin American Studies.

Robert Hammitt, Contributor (2015)

Robert Hammitt was a member of the 2015 Ramen IR writing team. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins SAIS where he concentrated in European-Eurasian Studies and international economics. His particular focus is on Arctic development and shipping and U.S.-Russian relations. He has previously worked for CSIS in Washington, and a Boston-area consulting firm. He received his BA in Slavic Studies from Connecticut College, and is originally from outside Boston.


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