Interns Contribute Greatly to The Africa Center

By Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Updated: 12/23/2010

internsACSS’s tradition of talented and energetic young interns continues this year with Mouna El Mekhfi Kennedy, Angela Yenca, Zach Heinselman and Felipe B. Karian-Torres.

Mouna El Mekhfi Kennedy has a wealth of international experience. A trained diplomat, she served at the UN Affairs, within the Moroccan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in Rabat and at the Moroccan Embassy in Sweden before making the U.S. her new home. As a First Secretary, she researched various peace and security issues, including disarmament, non-proliferation, conflict management and resolution. Mrs. Kennedy was member of the Moroccan Delegation to the 48th UNGA and to the 5th NPT Review Conference. She has an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy, and diplomas in International Security and in Sustainable Development Strategies. She is fluent in Classical Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, French, and English and is conversational in several Middle Eastern Arab dialects. Mrs. Kennedy is interested in the role the American foreign and security policies play in advancing international peace and security.”

Angela Yenca is a recent graduate of The Citadel where she received innumerable honors including a 4.0 in both her majors of International Politics and Military Affairs, and French. Ms. Yenca has completed independent research in Disarmament, Civil-Military Relations and Peacekeeping, and plans to continue her studies in February when she will be moving to Canberra, Australia. There she will begin her Master’s Degree in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Australian National University. Ms. Yenca is interested in Africa’s challenges from both security and humanitarian standpoints and in reforming police forces by addressing corruption and ethnic issues. Ms. Yenca is serving as the special assistant to Academic Dean Monde Muyangwa, PhD. Ms. Yenca is also assisting in background research for various ACSS programs.

Zach Heinselman recently departed the Africa Center, returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is a senior pursuing dual bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science, with a Certificate in African Studies. In addition Mr. Heinselman studied International Business at the Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark as a Brittingham Viking Scholar. Mr. Heinselman’s work for the Africa Center focused on budget and funding analysis of Department of Defense programs. He also provided general research support for various Academic Associates. His research interests center on civil-military relations and the consequences of environmental changes and resource management in relation to security in Africa.

Felipe B. Karian-Torres is currently working on a Rule of Law initiative and selected program topics for John Kelly, PhD, the Africa Center’s Associate Dean. Mr. Karian-Torres is also assisting Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, U.S. Navy (ret.), Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, and U.S. Army Colonel Gene McConville, Senior Military Advisor, Academic Affairs, as they organize new programmatic activities. Prior to joining the Africa Center, Mr. Karian-Torres practiced general civil litigation for three years in Detroit, Michigan, focusing on corporate litigation.

Dr. Muyangwa, Academic Dean, congratulated the interns for their strong contributions to the Africa Center. Associate Dean Dr. Kelly added, “We are blessed with extraordinary young people dedicated to the mission we share in Africa. They have made our institution wiser for their presence. We appreciate their insights on some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. policy makers from the plight of South Sudan, to the terror groups plaguing East Africa to the exploitation of natural resources.”