Sam Nunn School of International Affairs Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Awards induction ceremony was created in 2015. The awards celebrate excellence in the College community by honoring outstanding graduates of the College, current undergraduates, graduate students and faculty, and our friends and supporters. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognizes graduates from each of the College’s six schools.

2024 Recipient

Betsy Bulat, IAML-Spanish 2004

Betsy BulatBetsy Bulat serves as a senior equity partner at Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon, LLP, where she defends labor and employment litigation and counsels companies and executives on employment and related business matters. Bulat has been selected as a “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyer magazine, designated as “Legal Elite” in labor and employment law by Georgia Trend Magazine, and has obtained a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating. While attending Georgia Tech, Bulat was a member of the cross-country and track teams and the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She remains active with Georgia Tech, where she serves as chair of the Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees.


2023 Recipient

Alexious Butler headshotAlexious Butler, M.S. INTA 2002

Alexious Butler is a career senior foreign service officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to her current assignment as senior development advisor to U.S. Central Command, she served as acting deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. A native of Atlanta, Butler worked in the private sector for almost 10 years as a public relations specialist for a variety of clients including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, McDonald's, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and the World Bank. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University. Butler also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.


2022 Recipient

Rachael Lammers, M.S. INTA 2007

Headshot of Rachael Lammers.Rachael Lammers is a dedicated political science misfit who has proven that a well-equipped “generalist” knows no bounds. She is currently chief of staff (CoS) to the CEO of Resilience, a manufacturing and technology company dedicated to broadening access to complex medicines and protecting biopharmaceutical supply chains against disruption. As CoS for one of the fastest-growing global start-ups in the life science industry, she focuses on strategy execution and planning while serving as “chief fire fighter,” solving for people and process challenges that inhibit performance and progress. Her path to Resilience has been diverse but rooted in public service, spanning many spaces — international trade policy, conflict stabilization, organizational performance and leadership development, and public health.

Lammers is a former civil servant who joined federal service in 2007 as a President Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). She served in many roles in ITA, including working in policy in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade and in the commercial section of the U.S. Embassy of Kabul. This led her to join the Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, where she continued her work in Afghanistan, leading the strategic investment team and supporting private sector development. With the drawdown in Afghanistan, Lammers shifted to supporting U.S. commercial defense contractors operating in contingency environments with Aegis Defense Services. This eventually led her to the consulting world — first with her own business before she joined McChrystal Group in 2017. She served as the chief of staff of the advisory services, management consulting, and leadership development firm, founded and led by retired General Stanley McChrystal, before becoming partner.

Lammers received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Georgia State University and Master of Science from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

2021 Recipient

Nicole KruseTong Zhao, Ph.D. IAST 2014

Tong Zhao is a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in Beijing at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. His research focuses on strategic security issues, such as nuclear weapons policy, deterrence, arms control, nonproliferation, missile defense, hypersonic weapons, and China’s security and foreign policy.

Zhao serves on the board of directors of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and on the advisory board of the Missile Dialogue Initiative. He is also an associate editor of the journal Science & Global Security, and is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials. Previously he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Harvard University, a nonresident WSD-Handa Fellow at Pacific Forum, and worked for the Office of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality.

Zhao earned a Ph.D. in science, technology, and international affairs from Georgia Tech. He also holds a master’s degree in international relations and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tsinghua University.

2020 Recipient

Nicole Kruse, M.S. INTA 2000

As chief development officer for Health and Peace Programs at The Carter Center, Nicole Kruse directs the development activities for the Center’s programs, which include international efforts to eradicate disease and promote peace, democracy, and human rights. Before joining The Carter Center, Kruse directed the corporate and foundation relations program at the CDC Foundation associated with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She also has prior professional experience in higher education and international trade. Kruse received an M.S. in International Affairs from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, a graduate certificate in international management from the School of Management (now the Scheller College of Business), and a B.A. in Economics and French from Hollins College. In 2012, Kruse was named Chevalier (Knight) in the National Order of Merit by decree of the president of the French Republic. That same year she received the Emory University Award of Distinction. Kruse is presently a member of the Sam Nunn School Advisory Board.


2019 Recipient


Andrew Harris, M.S. INTA 2010

Andrew Harris is Amazon’s head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for advocacy in support of Amazon’s consumer-facing businesses. In that role, Harris and his team engage policymakers on behalf of Amazon’s interests throughout the region on a wide range of matters, including trade, tax, data governance, and consumer protection. Previous to his current role, Harris served as Amazon’s senior manager of Public Policy, working from Washington, D.C. In that role, he managed a diverse team and portfolio that included responsibility for trade policy and Internet governance, as well as Amazon’s policy efforts in Canada and Brazil. Before joining Amazon, Harris served as a foreign affairs officer in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Communication and Information Policy. He held a number of positions including serving as the primary advisor on internet policy issues, as well as covering technology policy in Africa and Asia. Harris began his career serving as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy. He holds an M.S. in International Affairs from Georgia Tech and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University.

2018 Recipient


Johnny Jones, INTA 2002

Johnny Jones is a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State currently based in Washington, D.C., in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Jones most recently served at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, from 2014-16, after previous overseas assignments in Islamabad, Pakistan from 2012-13, Cairo, Egypt, from 2010-12, and Baghdad, Iraq, from 2008-09. Before his first overseas posting, Jones worked on issues pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 2006-07. His diplomatic career has primarily focused on political developments and counterterrorism issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Jones is a 2002 graduate of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and a 2005 graduate of the Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is proficient in French.

2017 Recipient


Jeremy Farris, INTA 2004

Jeremy Farris graduated from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in 2004 and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech as a Stamps Family Scholar, cum laude from Harvard Law School, and “with distinction” from Oxford University. Farris is engaged in voting rights and the law of democracy and has taught courses in philosophy and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, and University College, Oxford. Farris worked as an attorney in Atlanta where he practiced constitutional law and complex business litigation at Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore. A member of the State Bar of Georgia, he is admitted to practice in several courts, and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the New Mexico Supreme Court. Farris grew up in Houston County, Georgia. He currently lives in Los Ranchos, New Mexico, with his spouse, Lisa, who is also a Georgia Tech graduate. Farris is currently a law clerk to Judge James O. Browning, U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

2016 Recipient


David Cooper, INTA 1996

David Cooper is the owner and chief executive officer of Anglicotech LLC, a veteran-owned small business that specializes in Department of Defense information technology systems, supply chain integration, and cyber security. Anglicotech also conducts research and development and has worked with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) on carbon nanotube sensors. Cooper was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and received a Bachelor’s in International Affairs from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in 1996. He went on to earn a Master’s in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005.

Prior to establishing his own business, Cooper spent over five years on the government acquisition team for Global Combat Support System – Marine Corps (GCSS-MC).  This Oracle-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system modernized the Marine Corps’ supply chain and maintenance processes.  While at GCSS-MC, Cooper served in several leadership roles including the technical director and project manager.

Cooper served over 12 years on active duty in the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer, and four years in the USMC Reserve. His assignments included the 2d Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Joint Task Force-Six, and 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. Cooper served in Iraq in 2003 on a combat tour where he was attached to the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division as a close air support coordinator.

2015 Recipient


Scott Bray, INTA 1996

Scott W. Bray became the National Intelligence Manager for East Asia in November 2012. He oversees all aspects of the intelligence community’s collection and analytic efforts regarding East Asia. Bray is the personal representative of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on East Asian matters and serves as the DNI’s focal point for the integration of all activities in the region. Prior to this, Bray was the deputy national intelligence manager and principal deputy national intelligence officer for military issues. Bray also served as the United States Navy’s senior intelligence officer for China, where he advised senior defense department and naval officials. His responsibilities included overseeing China-related efforts at the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) as well as major intelligence community initiatives pertaining to China’s navy. For his service, Bray was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the highest award the Chief of Naval Operations can bestow upon a civilian. While serving as submarine operations and readiness analyst in the Submarine Warfare Operations Research Division (SWORD), he was awarded the Joint Civilian Service Commendation. Bray earned a B.S. of International Affairs from Georgia Tech in 1996, and a Master's of International Affairs at Columbia University in 1998.