On Thursday, January 7th, YMCA Model UN will host two panels featuring alumni and friends of the program working in international affairs. These panels will be streamed live on our Facebook page.


Panel #1 – 7-7:40pm

Erin Nephew is an Economist in the African Department at the International Monetary Fund. She previously served for almost fifteen years in various U.S. foreign economic policymaking roles at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. Commerce Department. In addition to her government service, Erin has been a Senior Vice President at Citigroup, a consultant to multinational corporations at KPMG LLP, and an adjunct professor at New York University. Erin holds a Master’s in Economics from The George Washington University and a Bachelor’s in Economic Theory and International Studies from American University. Erin is an alum of the YMCA’s Model United Nations, NJ Youth and Government, and Conference on National Affairs programs (1995-1999).

Layne Rogers attended Rancocas Valley Regional High School where she participated in Y-MUN, spending her senior year as chair of the African Union and two summers as a CONA delegate. Her participation in Y-MUN inspired her to go to George Mason University to pursue a BA in Global Affairs with a minor in Economics. During her time at Mason, she completed multiple internships in the international development sector (at FIMRC, TechnoServe, and Blumont) and spent a semester at Oxford University where she studied the political and economic development of Africa. After graduating in 2018, she moved to Scotland to complete an MSc in Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh, during which she spent 2 months in Malawi researching obstacles to women in politics. Since returning to the US in October 2019, Layne has been working as an East and Southern Africa Associate at Chemonics International, one of the largest contractors to the United States Agency for International Development.

Caity Battey is the Special Projects Manager at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. In this role, she works with the Deputy Executive Director on organizational strategy, event execution, fundraising, and program management. She previously served as the Program Assistant to the McCain Institute’s leadership programming. A graduate of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, Caitlin resides in Washington, DC. In addition to her volunteer work with the YMCA’s Middle School Model UN program, Caitlin volunteers on Hood College’s Alumni Executive Board as well as the Junior League of Washington.




Panel #2 – 8:10-8:50pm

Richard Nephew is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA. He is the author of The Art of Sanctions. Richard previously served in the U.S. government, where his last position was as Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State. Nephew also served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran. Nephew holds a Master’s in Security Policy Studies and a Bachelor’s in International Affairs, both from The George Washington University.




Allyson Bowers Ferreira currently serves as the Innovation Facilitation Officer for the Executive Secretariat in the U.S. Department of State, focused on ensuring the Department is constantly evolving and innovating to best leverage new technology, as well as ensuring the production of high-value materials, using data-driven diplomacy and content management solutions, to the Secretary and other Department principals. Over her ten-year tenure in the Department, Allyson served as an Advance officer, managing preparations for the Secretary of State’s involvement in high-level visits, both domestic (at the UN!) and abroad. She also served in the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator and Operations Center’s Crisis Management Support team. Allyson received her MA in Global Affairs and a BA in International Politics and Government, with a specialization in International Development, from George Mason University. She discovered her passion for international affairs through her involvement in Y-MUN (Pol-Sec chair and CONA delegate) and student government, both in high school and college. 

Kelsey Coolidge is currently the Director of the War Prevention Initiative where she oversees the organization’s research and policy portfolio, and the Managing Editor of the Peace Science Digest in Portland, Oregon. As a trained social science researcher, her research interests include peace and conflict, gender, and climate change. She has conducted and advised numerous research projects around the world including work on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in the Philippines, the peace process in Colombia, women’s economic inclusion in Somalia, and local action on the Paris Climate Accord. This expertise is crafted from a curiosity to better understand current global challenges in order to create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful future. She is the author of numerous publications and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, Inkstick Media, and several local newspapers. Kelsey received her BS from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University in 2012 and her MA from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 2016. Her participation in Y-MUN from 2004-2008 inspired her career in international studies and she still keeps a few Hershey bars around the house as a happy reminder.