PSA Staff

Andrew K. Semmel
Executive Director

Andrew Semmel is the Executive Director of Partnership for a Secure America. In 2008, Dr. Semmel started AKS Consulting, representing international clients in Washington, D.C. He joined the Department of State in Spring 2003 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Department’s Bureau of Nonproliferation and continued in that role in the newly formed Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. His primary responsibilities included the development and execution of policies and initiatives to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, associated technologies and know-how, including export controls. He represented the Department in inter-agency meetings, bilateral and multilateral international fora, conferences and negotiations on nuclear nonproliferation issues.

From September 2001 to January 2003, he served as the Executive Director of the U.S.-China Security Review Commission, a bipartisan government Commission of twelve private citizens appointed by the Congressional leadership. He was responsible for the Commission's public hearings, research, briefings, foreign travel, and the preparation of an annual report of findings and recommendations to the Congress on the security implications of economic and financial relations between the U.S. and China.

He served on the personal staff of Senator Richard G. Lugar from 1987 to 2001, where he was the Senator’s senior Legislative Assistant for Foreign Policy. He assisted Senator Lugar on political/economic/security issues in all regions of the world. Beyond current foreign policy/national security matters, he paid special attention to international exchange programs, trade, democracy promotion, sanctions policy, human rights, international organizations, and others.

He has authored or co-authored publications on diverse foreign policy and national security issues. He has served as President of the Comparative Foreign Policy Section of the International Studies Association and the Governing Board of International Studies Association.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has been a Tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He has also been an Adjunct Visiting Professor in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program (MSFS) at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1981, he took a position with the Department of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA). He served as Chief of the Analysis Division of DSAA until he moved to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February 1985, where he had primary responsibility for the U.S. security assistance legislation, arms sales, and related foreign policy and national security issues.

He has traveled to nearly forty countries, has been an official observer to national elections in a dozen countries, and has spoken and lectured to various domestic and foreign audiences.

In 1995, he received the Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences Significant Achievement Award, and in 1996 he received the Moravian College Comenius Alumni Award for outstanding achievement. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame and the Moravian College Athletic Hall of Fame. He enjoys jogging, fishing, hiking, gardening, most sports, film, reading and cooking. He is married and has an adult son.


Nathan Sermonis
Deputy Executive Director

Nathan Sermonis is the Deputy Executive Director at Partnership for a Secure America (PSA). He oversees program development and operations in pursuit of PSA’s mission to advance bipartisan approaches to U.S. national security and foreign policy challenges. Nathan works largely on PSA’s Capitol Hill programming and efforts relating to international conflict resolution and energy security. Prior to working at PSA, he served as a policy adviser in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional campaign aide, and political writer. Nathan holds a B.S. from Cornell University.


Audrey Williams
Program Associate

Audrey Williams is a Program Associate at Partnership for a Secure America. She provides support to the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series and to an international working group study on International Atomic Energy Agency missions on nuclear security and technical cooperation. Prior to joining PSA, Audrey was a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Stimson Center, where she researched the nexus between security and development. Her particular interests include nuclear nonproliferation and security, counterterrorism policy, and international security and development cooperation. She has studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, and Fez, Morocco. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and speaks French and Turkish.


Sara Monteabaro
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow

Sara Monteabaro is a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at Partnership for a Secure America. Sara received a master’s degree in global affairs from New York University, where she focused her studies on the nexus between international development, peacebuilding, and gender equality. While at NYU, she conducted field research projects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on youth unemployment and in Yangon, Myanmar to study female entrepreneurship for her master’s thesis. Prior to her graduate studies, Sara was a program coordinator for a cross-cultural exchange program in Beijing, China and has interned at the Clinton Global Initiative and Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a B.A. from American University and speaks Mandarin.


Ken Cummings
Senior Adviser

Ken Cummings is a senior adviser to a leadership member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In his volunteer role with PSA Ken advises on matters relating to education programs, assists in coordinating input on all issues from the alumni of PSA's Congressional Partnership Program and provides senior-level advice and guidance on a wide array of PSA’s activities. Prior to his current position, he was director of international affairs for the Maryland Secretary of State. He has been a researcher and translator at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies and he is a veteran. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, American University, the Culinary Institute of America and is the author of articles on organizational management and of a forthcoming book on American politics.


Jenifer Mackby
Senior Adviser

Jenifer Mackby is a Senior Adviser at the Partnership for a Secure America. She is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she works on the Asian and European Trilateral Nuclear Dialogues, U.S.-U.K. Nuclear Cooperation, Strengthening the Global Partnership project, a Russian-European project on bioterrorism, among others.

Previously, she served as senior political affairs officer for the negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Group of Scientific Experts, Transparency in Armaments and the Biological Weapons Convention review process in Geneva, and then as secretary of the Working Group on Verification at the CTBT Organization Preparatory Commission in Vienna. She also worked in the United Nations on nuclear, biological, conventional, and outer space issues.

She has co-authored a number of books, including, Detect and Deter: Can Countries Verify the Nuclear Test Ban?, Global Biosecurity: Towards a New Governance Paradigm, The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider their Nuclear Choices. She has also written articles for the New York Times, Newsweek, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, publications of the National Defense University and the European Union Joint Research Center. Ms. Mackby has served as rapporteur for several international conferences, and has spoken at conferences in Europe, Asia, South America and the US. She has lectured at universities and speaks fluent French and Spanish.


Jeffrey Meding
Adjunct Fellow

Jeffrey Meding is an Adjunct Fellow at Partnership for a Secure America (PSA). In his volunteer role with PSA, Jeff currently works on U.S. detainee interrogation policy. Prior to joining PSA, Jeff represented the IU McKinney Program in International Human Rights Law in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) as a Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP) representative. As a MCOP representative, he observed, analyzed, critiqued and published material on the 9/11 Military Commission hearings. His particular interests include counterterrorism policy, specifically, the legality of targeted killings under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, the Caroline Doctrine and the law of armed conflict. In addition, Jeff focuses his attention on U.S.-Russia relations and indefinite detention at GTMO. Mr. Meding received his J.D. with a Graduate Certificate in International and Comparative Law from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He is a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois.


Matthew D'Alesio
Foreign Affairs Intern

Matt D'Alesio is a Senior political science major at the State University of New York at Cortland. He most recently interned at the Department of Transportation, Tourism and Sport Press Office in Dublin, Ireland. At Cortland, he was elected President of SUNY Cortland's Political Science Association, leading new initiatives on member recruitment and discussion groups. Matt comes to PSA with experience in state politics as a former NY State Senate campaign staffer. He is intimately interested in foreign policy and countering global instability.


Krisztina Fabo
Foreign Affairs Intern

Krisztina Fabo is a spring Foreign Affairs Intern at PSA. She is a candidate for the degree of Master of Arts in International Affairs at the George Washington University. Krisztina completed a Bachelors program at the University of Manchester. There she pursued a joint double-honors degree in Middle Eastern Studies and European language while studying Arabic and Russian languages and immersing herself in the cultures she was studying. First, she gained work experience in Moscow then she joined an NGO in Cairo, Egypt. Currently, Krisztina holds the UN Association of the National Capital Area fellowship. She would like to focus on U.S. foreign policy and conflict resolution in the Middle East and Russia.