Naika Pierre 

Interim President

CLS Chinese 2014

Naika graduated from Tufts University in May 2014 with a BA in International Relations and Chinese and went on to participate in the CLS program at Suzhou University in Suzhou, China that same year. Following CLS, Naika served as an AmeriCorps service member working with immigrants and refugees in the Boston community in the areas of employment, citizenship, and language education.

She left Boston to obtain her Masters of Arts in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University in February 2017, concentrating on development-induced displaced in China. While at Columbia, Naika worked also as an Administrative Associate at Asia Catalyst, an NGO working on strengthening civil society and advancing the rights of marginalized communities in Asia.

She currently works as a Human Rights Specialist at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, processing discrimination complaints and conducting complaint pre-interventions involving disability accommodation requests. Although Naika does not currently use her Mandarin professionally, she continues to meet with a tutor weekly and makes time to attend language meet-ups in the city.

Jenny Silver


CLS Indonesian 2016

CLS Indonesian 2017

A two-time participant in CLS Indonesian (2016, 2017), Jenny studies women’s labor migration in Southeast Asia. Under Princeton University’s Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Global Scholarship, Jenny is pursuing a master’s in Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore during the 2018-19 academic year and will be pursuing an MSc in Social Anthropology at Oxford during the 2019-20 academic year. She graduated from Princeton University in 2018 where she studied religion with a focus on Islam. Her interest in Southeast Asia began when she was awarded a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to study in rural Malaysia for eleven months.  She also studied Filipino at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute under a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.

Mark Sandel

Director of Communications

CLS Persian 2014

Mark graduated from The Ohio State University in 2016, where he studied International Studies, Farsi, and Social Psychology. In 2014, Mark became a CLS alumni after he studied Persian-Farsi and Tajiki in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. When his CLS program ended, he continued to study Farsi through college and after graduating, thanks to multiple Alumni Development Fund grants (which he highly encourages you to apply for!)

When he’s not annoying you with his blast emails or painstakingly combing the CLSAS website for bugs, you can find Mark getting lost in the wilderness, summiting snowcapped peaks, and using the C-stick in Smash.

Jack Anderson 

Director of Partnerships

CLS Turkish 2013

CLS Turkish 2014

Jack Anderson is a Senior Consultant at FTI Consulting and an alumnus of the Azerbaijani CLS program. He was previously based in Washington, DC, and is presently living in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jack’s work at FTI has largely been within the firm’s Strategic Communications practice, where he has led a number of public affairs efforts to advance the policy goals of FTI’s clients. His efforts to advance federal reforms, in areas such as energy production, financial services regulations and international trade, have created new opportunities for economic growth across the country. Jack has forged several coalitions of businesses, NGOs, and academic institutions to jointly advance commonsense solutions to challenging economic and foreign policy problems facing the U.S.

Jack looks forward to utilizing his professional skills to create powerful relationships between CLSAS and third parties that can help advance the interests of all Critical Language Scholars, such as by supporting further linguistic education and helping CLS alumni to reach their professional and academic goals. He also looks forward to raising the profile of the CLS program among federal stakeholders in Congress and the Executive branch, to ensure the many contributions made by CLS alumni to our nation are widely recognized and valued.

Jack graduated from Washington & Lee University in Geopolitics of Central Asia. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Cybersecurity at the Georgia Institute of Technology, planning to graduate in December 2019. He speaks Azerbaijani and can stumble through some Turkish, thanks to his time with CLS. When he’s not working, hacking, or cooking, he’s definitely gone skiing.

Anthony Ross  

Events Coordinator

CLS Korean 2014

Anthony Ross is a FLAS and CLS alumnus (Wonju, 2014) who currently works in educational outreach through the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia site at Indiana University. His position entails organizing professional development opportunities for American educators, as well as co-leading study tours to Asia. He holds an MA in East Asian Studies from Indiana, and is currently working on a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. Anthony has held previous positions teaching English in Spain and South Korea, and is a former Virtual Student Federal Service intern for the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).

In his free-time, he enjoys translating Korean literature, foreign films, travel, and volunteering in the community.

Blaine Johnson

Community Outreach Coordinator

CLS Chinese 2012

Blaine Johnson is an alumna of the 2012 CLS Chinese program in Shanghai, China, and now serves as the CLSAS Community Outreach Coordinator. Blaine is a policy analyst on the national security team at the Center for American Progress, where she synthesizes primary source and field research on Chinese policies to develop recommendations for U.S. policymakers. Since her work during graduate school in China—where she did her masters thesis on the implementation challenges of waste-to-energy policy and developed recommendations for the local government—Blaine has been using her Chinese language skills to address misunderstandings about China. Blaine also runs Young Professionals in Foreign Policy's Chinese Language Discussion Group and volunteers as a Mandarin teacher for the non-profit Global Language Network.


Blaine has a masters degree from Fudan University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs and a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College. Blaine speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and almost enough French to read a menu.

Naimul Chowdhury

Data Coordinator

CLS Chinese 2018

Naimul Chowdhury is an alumnus of the 2018 CLS Chinese program in Xi'An, China. He graduated from New College of Florida that same year with a concentration in Pure Mathematics, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Data Science at his alma mater.

Naimul is interested in the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and language. In particular, he is interested in how machine learning and AI can be used to improve second language acquisition.

Kieran Hatton

Newsletter Coordinator

CLS Turkish 2017

Kieran Hatton graduated from Indiana University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in International Studies, with minors in Political Science and Central Eurasian Studies with Turkish Language Certification. Kieran studied Turkish in Baku, Azerbaijan during the CLS Turkish session in 2017. After graduation and completing research internships at the Institute for the Study of War and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he continued to pursue his interest in U.S.-Turkey relations at the nexus of technology, defense, and politics as a Non-Resident Fellow for the Turkish Heritage Foundation, where he contributed monthly articles. Kieran currently works as a Data Analyst for evolve24, a contracting company based in Herndon, VA


Tucker Boyce

Former President

CLS Turkish 2015

CLS Turkish 2017

Belle Cheves

Former Secretary

CLS Persian 2012

CLS Persian 2014


Tucker Boyce     |     Belle Cheves     |     Anesce Dremen     |     Ryan Etzcorn     |     Joey Kilpatrick 
Sanil Reddy      |      Kat Robison      |      Mark Sandel        |        Sana Choudhary       |       Aaron Yang

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