Nearly Two Dozen Graduate from CHDS Master’s Program 

Led by Curtis “Butch” Straub Achievement and Mark Carr Esprit De Corps award winner Kelli Foy, 23 Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master’s Program participants were awarded degrees in a graduation ceremony at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, on Friday Sept. 22. 

Mark Carr Esprit De Corps award winners Kelli Foy (left) and Lauren Laielli

The graduating class was smaller than usual because it was created at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and classes have since returned to their usual 32 student size. 

Foy, who serves as the New York City Team Lead of Global Risk Intelligence, said the CHDS program offered an incredible opportunity to study with people in different disciplines. 

The youngest member of her cohort at 29, Foy also served as cohort president and said she did everything she could to help her classmates, but was still surprised to be named the winner of the Straub Award and the Carr Award. 

The Carr Award recognizes students whose actions instilled, sustained, and created a spirit of unity and pride within the cohort. 

Curtis “Butch” Straub Achievement Award winner Kelli Foy (left) and Outstanding Thesis Award winner Bobby Garcia

Classmate Lauren Laielli also won the Carr Award for her cohort. Laielli said she “tried to help people and steer them the right way.” She said she had been interested in CHDS for years and it was the “appropriate time in my life” to join the program. She praised the entire Master’s Program as “wonderful,” noting the quality of instruction and the range of issues addressed. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Attache Bobby Garcia won the Outstanding Thesis Award for his thesis, “Beyond The Border: The Impact Of Flawed Migration Strategies In South And Central America On U.S. Immigration.” 

Garcia, who is currently assigned to Mexico City, praised the Master’s Program for offering exposure to a wide variety of disciplines and experiences, different perspectives, and networking. 

CHDS Master’s Program Cohort 2201/02 Graduates 

  • Justin Alexander – Deputy Chief Homeland Defense Bureau, Phoenix Fire Department – Mesa, AZ 
  • Dan Alvarez – Deputy Chief of the Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Investigations Bureau, DC Metro Transit Police – Washington, DC 
  • Teresa Andrade – Community Relations Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – San Diego, CA 
  • Griffin Byers – Chief of Operations, Cook County Dept. of Emergency Management and Regional Security – Chicago, IL 
  • Michelle Caron – Inspector, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia – Washington, DC 
  • Jonathan Dorrough – Captain, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia – Washington, DC 
  • Kelli Foy – Team Lead of Global Risk Intelligence, New York City Police Department – New York, NY 
  • Bobby Garcia – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Attache, U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Mexico City 
  • Daniel Harrington – Captain, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia – Silver Spring, MD 
  • Benjamin Holder – Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation – Salt Lake City, UT 
  • Andrew Jahier – Emergency Management Specialist, FEMA Region 10, Federal Emergency Management Agency – Salem, OR 
  • Lauren Laielli – Detective, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness – Trenton, NJ 
  • Steven Lee – Battalion Chief, New York City Fire Department – Nyack, NY 
  • James Lupo – Special Agent, United States Secret Service – Thousand Oaks, CA 
  • Thomas McGroarty – Public Health Preparedness Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Health – Bureau of Public Health Preparedness – Wilkes Barre, PA 
  • Sapan Patel – National Program Manager/Special Agent, Homeland Security Investigations – Washington, DC 
  • David Ritchie – Lieutenant, New York City Fire Department – Eastchester, NY 
  • John Siffermann – Supervisory Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Chicago, IL 
  • Anna Sofchek – Special Operations Supervisor, United States Border Patrol – El Cajon, CA 
  • Michael Stefanoff – Assistant Chief, California Highway Patrol  – Sacramento, CA 
  • Vinh Tran – Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service – San Francisco, CA 
  • Aaron Zeigler – Police Sergeant, Glendale  Police Department – Glendale, CA 
  • James Zuggi – Police Lieutenant, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Transit Police Department – Philadelphia, PA 

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment |, 831-402-4672 (PST)

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