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Student Groups

The Graduate Organization of GPS (GO GPS) is the student body government of the school. GO GPS and the many active student groups provide members the opportunity to focus on regions of study and professional development. Student-led regional focus groups are dedicated to increasing the understanding of a specific region’s culture, language, politics and economy through a variety of programmatic activities. We invite you to discover the current organizations.

Graduate Organization of GPS (GO GPS)

GO GPS serves as the school’s student body government, representing and promoting students’ academic, professional and networking interests. It serves as a center for student communication, information and participation and as a forum for student development. GO GPS acts as a liaison to the faculty and administration. All registered full-time or part-time graduate students are eligible to become elected members.

The board comprises eight executive officers, first-year student representatives from each degree program, and four representatives to the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). GPSA representatives bridge the School to the broader UC San Diego graduate community. They represent student interests by lobbying for university funding, voicing student concerns and facilitating School involvement in GPSA programs and leadership.

Executive Board

Robert Daquilla, President
Peter Wilborn, Vice President of External Affairs
Marissa Myers, Vice President of Academic Affairs
Ana Zapata, Vice President of Programming/GSA Representative
Jeff Myers, Vice President of Internal Affairs
Christine Wan, Vice President of Finance
Brenna Wayne, Vice President of Communications/Marketing
Viora Soetedjo, Vice President of Events
Emily Davalos, GPSA Representative
Brody Topil, GPSA Representative
Salma Shaikh, GPSA Representative
Nima Nouri-Esfandiari, GPSA Representative (Alternate)
Mark Etem, MAS-IA Representative
Taysia Leung, MIA First Year Representative
Joy Werner, MPP First Year Representative
GianCarlo Samayoa, MCEPA First Year Representative
Lucienne Arrigoni, Five Year Degree First Year Representative

Questions? Contact the board.


Asameshikai is an organization of students, faculty and professionals who share a keen interest in Japan's economy, politics, language and culture.

It presents a speaker series and holds informal roundtable discussions. Speakers typically are experts in areas such as Japanese business practices, trade and security relations, politics and political economy. Informal discussions may cover current events or Japanese society. Asameshikai also organizes social and cultural events that bring together students, fellows, faculty and members of San Diego's thriving Japanese community. 

The organization aids students in their career goals by creating links to local and overseas Japan-related businesses, foreign professionals and alumni. Information on internships, study abroad and job openings will help interested members with their Japan-focused job search. 

Asameshikai Officers

Zach Belgum, President
Ayano Kano, Vice President of Finance
Jaha McClean, Vice President of External Affairs
Marcia Yang, Vice President of Internal Affairs
David Mendoza, Vice President of First Year Affairs

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China Focus

China Focus is the official student organization designed for and by students interested in Sino-global relations. It seeks to provide an active forum for student, faculty, and community participation through academic, professional, and social events related to China and its relationship with the rest of the world.

China Focus organizes academic discussions and public lectures, networking and professional opportunities, and social and cultural activities for its community. It aims to provide opportunities for intellectual debate and discussion as well as promote community values to support China-focused GPS students during and after the completion of their degree programs.

Get connected with us and visit the China Focus blog!

China Focus Board of Directors

Alayna Bone, President
Chuan Xu, Vice President
Tiffany Su, Secretary
Bruce Xu, Communications Minister
Sunny Xu, Marketing/Sinosphere: Co-Editor in Chief
Weixiao Guo, Sinosphere: Co-Editor in Chief
Anna Kraemer, Finance/China Focus Blog: Co-Editor in Chief
Ruishi Wang, China Focus Blog: Co-Editor in Chief
Zizan Wang, 21CC Liason

Data Science for Policy and Strategy Club (DSPS)

The Data Science for Policy and Strategy Club (DSPS) is an organization of student professionals at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) dedicated to quantitative analysis through the use of data programming applications, including but not limited to Python, R, Stata and Excel. The club's objective is to educate the GPS community and create opportunities to develop analytical expertise with state-of-the-art computational methods. DSPS provides resources to graduate students, host workshops and assemble groups to conduct computational research projects in relevant domains.

The club's application training programs at the start of the year are designed to be beginner-friendly so that a complete novice could learn how to analyze data efficiently outside of formal instruction. At the same time, there will be many social and professional events that will encourage participation from more experienced members, and those members will be divided into groups where the pacing of their instruction and projects will correlate with their individual skills and needs.

DSPS aims to provide all members the opportunity to analyze complex datasets and to network with other graduate students and faculty members in professional settings. The club believes that effective policy design is linked to rigorous data analysis, and so members seek to use their programming skills to produce high-quality projects for the school and future employers.

DSPS Leadership

Jonathan Elkobi, President
Henry Mo, Vice President of Finance and Computation
Nima Esfandiari, Vice President of Internal and External Affairs
Alberto Fragoso, Vice President of Events
Salma Shaikh, Vice President of Operations

Development Club

The Development Club (DevClub) is a pre-professional student organization that serves as a platform for students to learn about international development issues and also engage with the greater development industry through hosted events.

The main goal of DevClub is to raise awareness at GPS and the greater UC San Diego community about pressing development issues in the world today and how to respond to those issues in a sustainable, positive and culturally sensitive manner. A secondary goal is to engage the larger student population to the faculty and their work focused in the development field.

The major activities of DevClub include hosting Development Night, a series of events that focus on the different career aspects of the development industry, and coordinating events that bring development practitioners and the student body together.

Development Club Leadership

Meghan Zavala, President
Juliane Alfen, Vice President of Faculty
Katy Norris, Vice President of External Affairs
Sunny Xu, Vice President of Events
Slade Mahoney, Vice President of Marketing
Liz Muthoni, Vice President of Finance

GPS Consulting Club (GPSCC)

The GPS Consulting Club’s (GPSCC) mission is to provide opportunities for students to apply the tools taught at GPS to real-world challenges in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Additionally, GPSCC sponsors career panels and information sessions for students to engage with the broader consulting community.

For clients, GPSCC offers integrated solutions by specializing in the School of Global Policy and Strategy's core competencies of international business, economics, and politics.

GPSCC Leadership

Emily Irion, President
Shuting Wang, Vice President of Accounts
Katrina Boyd, Vice President of Events
Christine Wan, Vice President of Operations

Journal of International Policy Solutions (JIPS)

The Journal of International Policy Solutions is a student-led academic journal at GPS that provides a space for students to write about politics, international issues, current affairs and much more that contribute to the ongoing dialogue on creating effective policy solutions. For over twenty years, the journal has published new editions highlighting the work of graduate students from around the world.

Visit the JIPS website to read past issues and view the student blog. Have questions? Please contact JIPS.

JIPS Leadership

Ezra Kraus, Podcast Director
Troy Tuquero, Communcations Director
Tiffany Su, Vice President of Finance

Latin America Student Organization (LASO)

LASO is a student-run organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of Latin American politics, economics and culture. It seeks to provide students with opportunities to interact. LASO's program foci are community service, cultural enrichment, professional opportunities and social activities.

Past activities include public speaking and cultural events and the annual Latin American Festival. In addition, LASO serves as a liaison between the School’s administration, alumni and businesses to ensure that Latin American interests are represented.

LASO Leadership

Ana Zapata, President
Tino Tirado, Vice President of Finance
Ernesto Castañeda, Vice President of Communications
Ezra Kraus, Vice President of External Affairs


Mannam is a student-led graduate organization for those interested in learning about Korea. Its objective is to promote cultural understanding and cross-regional networking with other members of the community. It does this while enhancing academic and professional interests in all aspects of Korea, including politics, economy, language and society. Mannam seeks to:

  • promote connections to help create an interactive network within the School’s community, enhancing academic and professional opportunities for Korea-focused students;
  • promote dialogue on contemporary issues relevant to working with and in Korea by hosting academic seminars and events on current issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula; and
  • continue pursuing relationships with the Korean community on campus and in San Diego, as well as with other regional focus groups.

With increasing interest in Korea, Mannam's membership and activities have been growing steadily. One of its goals is to create an innovative networking system between current students, visiting scholars and alumni. Mannam currently is developing a mentoring program to help incoming students make their transition to the School easier.

Mannam Leadership

John Kim, President
Bonaly Phrasavath, Vice President of Internal Affairs
Brandon Chen, Vice President of Outreach
Laney (Delaney) Crabtree, Vice President of Events
Brenna Wayne, Vice President of Marketing

Net Impact

Net Impact is an international movement of people committed to using the power of business and innovation to solve the world's most pressing social and environmental problems. The new paradigm of what makes good business includes ambitious social and environmental goals. The free market is a powerful catalyst for social change, and Net Impact seeks to integrate these social advancement goals into the marketplace.

The UC San Diego GPS chapter aims to create a networking platform for members to engage in formal and informal advancement of their career goals in sustainable business.

Net Impact Leadership

Katrina Boyd, Vice President of Finance
Gordon Magne, Vice President of Events and Social Media

Queer International Policy and Strategy (QuIPS)

The mission of Queer International Policy and Strategy (QuIPS) is to foster community among queer and nonqueer members of the School and raise awareness of the challenges faced by queer people around the world, as well as fostering professional development for queer students and allies.

QuIPS Leadership

Elisabeth Earley, Co-Executive Director
Joey Persico, Co-Executive Director
Brody Topil, Director of Educational Programming
Emily Irion, Director of Political Programming

Southeast Asia Link (SEAL)

SEAL is a student-run organization that is dedicated to fostering an in-depth understanding of the diversity of Southeast Asian nations in terms of their unique culture, politics and economy. SEAL works with the community and faculty to create an innovative speaker series, which is its cornerstone academic offering that takes place over the course of the academic year.

SEAL serves as a liaison between the School and the Southeast Asian world at large by creating volunteer opportunities in the San Diego area and by linking Southeast Asia regionalists with current Southeast Asia professionals, jumpstarting career opportunities for graduates.

Creating a sense of community within SEAL, as well as within the broader community, is an important aspect of the organization. Events like the annual SEAL cooking class give Southeast Asia students and their faculty an informal opportunity to discuss current events, regional concerns and future goals.

SEAL also collaborates with other regional student events and organizations in order to facilitate cross-cultural understanding, such as the Asian New Year Festival held every winter quarter.

SEAL Leadership

Viora Soetedjo, President
Tevin Tendon, Vice President of Finance
Nima Nouri-Esfandiari, Vice President of Events
Mounisha Balasubramanian, Vice President of Internal Affairs
Pavan Raja Manuri Venkata, Vice President of Marketing

Security Studies Group (SSG)

An interdisciplinary forum for the study of strategy and security policy, SSG was founded by student professionals in the MAS-IA program at GPS, and is open to all students at GPS. SSG seeks to focus the ideas and expertise of UC San Diego students, professors and practitioners toward difficult security questions facing nation states in the 21st century.

The group hosts guest speakers, professional development clinics and networking socials at group meetings. Guest speakers include university professors, experts and security professionals.

In addition to advancing strategic studies at UC San Diego, SSG also serves as a networking and professional development organization for students and professionals pursuing careers in international security. Members are encouraged to engage California-area security resources through participation in field trips, strategic conferences and geopolitics lectures.

SSG Leadership

Hana Moumen, Chairman of the Board
Joey Persico, Vice Chairman
Peter Wilborn, External Outreach
Jasmine Moheb, Internal Relations Coordinator
Tevin Tendon, Finance Director
Ana Zapata, Co-Chair of Events
Isman Cyair, Co-Chair of Events
David Mendoza, Communications Coordinator
Issac Wang, Board Member

Women Going Global

The mission of Women Going Global is to increase awareness and the development of women in future leadership roles within international professional and academic realms. Women Going Global offers an opportunity for students, faculty and the Greater San Diego community to exchange in discourse that promotes women’s issues on a global level.

Email us to learn more.

Women Going Global Leadership

Shivangi Gupta, Co-President
Juliane Alfen, Co-President
Meghan Zavala, Vice President of Social Programming
Sophie Hargrave, Vice President of Internal Affairs/Vice President of Communications
Alayna Bone, Vice President of Educational Programming
Dayra Lascano, Vice President of Political Programming