SAIS Observer Staff

Maya Prakash
Editor in Chief

Maya Prakash is a second year MAIR student (’23) with an interest in International Law and a concentration in the MENA and Latin American regions. She graduated from the University of Southern California (’21) where she was the Editor-in-Chief for the USC Economics Review and a publisher for the USC Global Policy Institute. At SAIS, she works as a teacher’s assistant for Professor Nasr’s “Political Economy of the Middle East” class and is the Vice President of the MENA Club. Maya loves playing tennis, horseback riding, cooking, and watching movies.

Mary Hopkins
Deputy Editor

Mary is a second-year SAISer studying Security, Strategy, and Statecraft with a dual regional focus in China and Europe & Eurasia. A longtime student of media and critical theory, her interests include conflict management, authoritarianism, gentrification, and the interplay of mainstream media and politics. She is a cat mom to a particularly self-centered polydactyl named Henry the VII (for his seven toes on each of his front paws).

Jacob Levitan

Jacob Levitan is a second-year student at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS, where he is one of the Observer’s editors. He received his Bachelor of Arts at Washington University in St. Louis in 2018, receiving a major in Eurasian studies and a minor in Russian language and literature. A Russian speaker, Jacob has worked and studied in the post-Soviet space. In his free time, you can find Jacob reading a book, brainstorming new recipes in his kitchen, out on a hike, or at a museum. 

Wenjuan Wu
My name is Wenjuan Wu, also known as Virginia. I shifted from a certificate student to a MA student since this semester. My major is more focused on economics. Last year at SAIS Nanjing, I worked as a student assistant at library in the first semester and a student assistant at teaching department in the second semester. I'm quite interested in different board games like go/five-in-a-row/chess. Sudoku is one of my recent favorite games. Other interests like watching films(esp. documentary) and listening to music(esp. R&B).
Bikai Chen

My research interests are in U.S. Indo-Pacific policy. I have worked as an editor at a publishing house as well as a news website, and I have also worked as a researcher at a think tank. My passion is playing basketball. I am currently working as an editor at The SAIS Observer.

Jeff Zeberlein
Jeff is a Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) candidate (’23) and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy.  His operational experience includes flying F/A-18s over four deployments to the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East.  He is a graduate of TOPGUN and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (’12).  At SAIS, he is a member of the Defense and Intelligence Club, a copy editor for the SAIS Observer, and an assistant editor for the SAIS Review.    
Feiyu Cheng

Interests: Bodybuilding, photography, books, computer/phone games,

Work experience: Staff Writer, The SAIS Observer; Director, Kedu (Nanjing) Technology Co.

HNC involvement: 1st year MA student

Rui Cheng

This is Rui, a second year MAIR student at Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Currently, I’m doing the Nanjing Scholar Program at SAIS, DC. I worked for SAIS Observer last year as a staff writer. My interest is in energy transition and environmental regulation.

Abby Sonnier

Abby Sonnier is a second year MAIR candidate focusing on the United States and security with a B.A. in Public Policy from the University of Mississippi from Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is her first year on the SAIS Observer and she is excited to contribute as a copy editor to the newspaper.

Professionally, Abby has worked in media as an editorial assistant at The Cipher Brief, a social media coordinator for the Bologna Institute for Policy Research on the SAIS Bologna campus, as a social media research team lead at the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, and, currently, as the policy analyst at Consortium Networks, a cybersecurity concierge firm.

Outside of these, Abby can usually be found on a hike with her dog, Malbec, reading the latest Reese Witherspoon book pick, or planning her next weekend trip

Stewart Grosvenor

Stewart Grosvenor is a second year in the Master of Arts in International Relations program at SAIS.  Before SAIS, he worked as a private investigator in Washington, DC.  He specializes in local DC affairs for The Observer.  In his spare time, he loves hiking and camping.

Zhao Hengfeng
Zhao Hengfeng has interests in ethnic minorities policy, deliberative democracy, authoritarian promotion, animal rights, and human rights policy in general. In addition to participating in English BP debates, he conducted short-term field research in Kashgar, Xinjiang, on indigenous rights and in Pu'er, Yunnan, on the conflict between elephants and humans. In his last internship at the European Chamber in Shanghai, he assisted in researching and compiling local governmental policies. 
Jialu Qu
This is Jialu Qu, TSO 2022 Staff Writer, MA 1-year student in Nanjing now. My interesting topic is International Politics, Education, and Sustainable Development. 
Hongru Zhang

Hongru Zhang is a MA student at Hopkins-Nanjing Center. He is interested in sustainable development and political economy. He was a campus reporter during his undergraduate years.


Mustafa Ahmad
Mustafa Ahmad is a dual-degree MA/MSPH student with SAIS and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to Hopkins, he graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in public health. Mustafa's interests include global health, climate change, and U.S.-Global South relations. Outside of school, he loves reading and watching his Aggies and Houston Rockets.
Hans Faye

Hans is a 2nd year MAIR student at Johns Hopkins SAIS. After graduating from Lewis & Clark College, he spent six years in North Africa teaching and serving in the Peace Corps. He enjoys photography and videography, and aspires to produce documentary-style video while working as a videographer for the SAIS Observer

Liu Zjing
I was a civil servant but now I am a freelance writer, a writer being interested in stories about the true spirits of people, culture, history, civilization, and the world. I love reading, traveling and dancing. As a certificate student in HNC, I want to share the HNC stories  with you.
Alexandra Huggins
Alexandra Huggins is a first year MAIR student at SAIS where she is focusing on Security, Strategy, and Statecraft in Europe and Eurasia. Ash is a recent graduate of the University of Chapel Hill (2022), where she majored in History and Peace, War, and Defense. Her research interests center around international law and world order. Outside of class and editing for the Observer, she works at the International Crisis Group on research concerning U.S. foreign policy.
Zoe Guo

Zoe Haoning Guo is a staff writer of the SAIS Observer. She is currently a first-year MAIR student concentrating on Development, Climate, and Sustainability, with a regional focus on Asia. Prior to SAIS, Zoe worked in a political strategic consultancy.  She loves reading and writing on energy, gender, food, and her home country of China.

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