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Tackling Global Challenges with Carolina Problem Solvers

April 20 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

There’s no doubt that the next generation of global leaders face many grand challenges. Complex transnational crises like climate change, biosecurity and forced migration can be addressed by multifaceted approaches, but policymakers need expert research and innovative solutions to make informed decisions.

This year hundreds of Carolina students stepped into the shoes of White House staffers and leading policy analysts to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the United States and world by preparing informative, concise and visually appealing policy briefs in the 2023 UNC Policy Brief Competition, supported by the Diplomacy Initiative. Check out last year’s competition.

Join us on April 20 for an awards ceremony featuring remarks by each of the competition winners and the three Carolina alumni working in international affairs who served as judges. Each winning brief will be presented with an award of $500 and a certificate for each student. The awards ceremony and alumni panel will be followed by a reception with Carolina alumni and community members. Indian food from Lemon and Lime will be served!

Let us know if you’ll join!

If you’re a Carolina alumni or a community member interested in attending, please email Katie Costanza,, to let us know!

Alumni Judges

  • Jeffrey Brown, Science & Technology Policy Executive, IBM Government and Regulatory Affairs. At IBM, Jeff builds government affairs strategies and thought leadership around emerging technologies, including advanced semiconductors, hybrid cloud, AI, and quantum computing. He then engages with national and international government agencies — including members of Congress — to navigate the impacts of emerging technologies on government and international affairs. His writing and videos have been featured in Axios, Politico, Forbes, Euractiv, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Wilson Quarterly. Jeff holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for which he completed one year of study — in French — at Sciences Po Paris. He holds a B.A in Political Science from St. Olaf College. Jeff’s career interests lie at the nexus of emerging technologies, public policy, and international relations. He speaks fluent French and some Portuguese and has lived in five countries.” 
  • Jennifer Davis is a career Foreign Service officer currently serving as the chief of staff to Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She previously served as a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at Georgetown University and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as the director of orientation at the Foreign Service Institute. Previously, Jennifer has served as the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, the executive assistant to U.S. Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, and special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She has served overseas tours in Colombia, Brussels (USNATO), and Mexico City, where she was special assistant to the ambassador. She has a bachelor’s with distinction and J.D. with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a LL.M. in international law from Oxford University and a Masters with Distinction in Strategic Studies from the National War College. 
  • Ned Kelly is a senior intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Office of Technology and Long Range Analysis. In this role, he oversees DIA’s analytic programs to evaluate and assess the risk of technology transfer associated with foreign military sales programs and in support of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Mr. Kelly began his career as an intelligence analyst with DIA in 2006. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Kelly managed the Defense Intelligence All-Source Analytic Enterprise Program of Analysis and developed analytic tradecraft as a Deputy Research Director. He has led military and counterterrorism analysts at DIA Headquarters, United States Africa Command, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, and the National Counterterrorism Center, served as a counterterrorism intelligence advisor at the Pentagon, and was attached to a special operations unit during a deployment to Afghanistan. Mr. Kelly is a proud Tar Heel and 2005 graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill. He holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish and was a recipient of the Morehead-Cain scholarship. Mr. Kelly also received an M.A. from American University’s School of International Service. He and his wife, Lia, who was also a Morehead-Cain scholar, live in Charlottesville, Virginia with their two children who aspire to one day grace this beautiful campus. 


April 20
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium
301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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