A: The Truman membership is a nationally competitive program that accepts between 100 - 150 total new members a year (with no more than 50 per Cohort). We suggest that you reach out to your Chapter Director to learn more about the Chapter you are applying to. Here are a few members from past classes:
Bryce Barros (Expert Group Leader, TruAsia)
Security Fellow, Class of 2020, Los Angeles Chapter
Bryce C. Barros, a 2012 graduate of Norwich University in Vermont, majored in political science with a Chinese minor. He engaged in international diplomacy as his campus’ cadet service exchange officer to the Republic of China Military Academy in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to train with the Taiwan Army.
Bryce graduated with a Master’s in International Affairs degree from Texas A&M University. He has interned for Long Term Strategy Group and was a graduate assistant for Dr. William Norris, researching Asia-Pacific defense issues. He is currently an analyst at Kharon focused on Northeast Asia-related sanctions issues.
Defense Council, Class of 2012, New York Chapter
Won enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2001 and served as a Gas Turbine Technician (Electrical) aboard guided missile destroyers. She was forward deployed in the Pacific region for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Shortly after separating from the military in 2009, she founded a small business that she ran for four years.
In 2012, Won was named a Veteran Associate at the New York Stock Exchange. Later that year, she became a Mission Continues Fellow, and served as a Local Chapter Coordinator at Student Veterans of America. She was an Office Manager at a retirement fund with over $6 billion AUM, an Examiner at an SRO examining Swap Dealers with OTC Derivatives activities exceeding the $8 billion material swaps exposure threshold, and a Senior Compliance Officer at a hedge fund with $4 billion AUM. Currently, she is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and an Associate Director in Investment Banking Compliance.
Given her passion for helping veterans, she founded the Women Veterans and Families Network (WVFN). Won is a Tri-State Coordinator for the DNC Veterans and Military Families Council, Sister on the Planet Ambassador at OxFam America, an Alumni Advisory Council Member at Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS), Chair of Veterans Roundtable at CFA Society New York (CFANY) and Co-Lead of Women Veterans on Wall Street (wVOWS), a subcommittee of Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS). She holds an M.A. in Information Technology Management from Webster University, and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University SPS, where she is an Adjunct Associate Faculty Member. She resides in Manhattan with her husband, who is also a U.S. Navy veteran, and two children.
Security Fellow, Class of 2019, Washington DC Chapter
Francisco Bencosme (@bencosmef) is a Senior Advisor in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau at the Department of State serving as a Political Appointee in the Biden/Harris Administration. Prior to joining the State Department he joined Open Society Foundations in 2020 as the Senior Policy Advisor for Asia and Latin America. Previously, he served as the Asia Pacific Advocacy Manager at Amnesty International USA where he testified multiple times before Congress and provided expert media commentary on multiple issues including East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia human rights issues. In 2018, Francisco was named one of The Hill’s Top 2018 Lobbyist for their campaign on Myanmar Rohingya issues. Before joining AIUSA, he served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee for five years, where he assisted Democratic Senators on issues related to East Asia/Pacific, South Asia, and State Department/USAID oversight. Francisco also served as the President of the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association and as a board member of the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff Association. Francisco is also a Truman Security Fellow, a Penn-Kemble Fellow, and an International Career Advancement Program alum. Francisco received his Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a graduate certificate from the USAF Air University, and his B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Political Partner, Class of 2018, San Francisco Chapter
Jessica Morse is the Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management at the California Natural Resources Agency. In her role, she is working to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and vegetation treatment to make Californians wildfire resilient. Prior to joining Governor Newsom’s administration, Jessica spent nearly ten years in National Security working for the Defense Department, State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Her assignments included a year and a half in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as tours in India, Myanmar, and US Pacific Command. Throughout her career she designed and executed innovative strategies across agencies and governments, including a strategy using renewable energy technology transfer as a catalyst for US defense engagement with India. Morse holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Principia College. In 2018, Morse ran for U.S. Congress in California’s 4th Congressional District.
Security Fellow, Class of 2019, Washington DC Chapter
Bunmi Akinnusotu is a foreign policy enthusiast and organizational management leader. As the Deputy Director of the Rangel Fellowship at Howard University, Bunmi builds the talent pipeline of foreign service officers and international affairs leaders. Prior to Howard, Bunmi was the Chief of Staff at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy which also amplifies the voices of rising global policymakers. She was a political appointee in the Obama Administration where she served as Special Assistant in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the US Environmental Protection Agency. There, she coordinated international and domestic efforts to advance resource conservation and bring greater visibility to the social and economic benefits of reducing negative environmental impacts. Bunmi’s international journey began at Search for Common Ground in Timor-Leste and she later taught English in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Prior to her career in foreign affairs, Bunmi was a non-profit fundraiser for the YWCA and United Way in Chicago. She’s also an AmeriCorps Alum and a Penn Kemble Democracy Fellow.
Jason Cain (Former Chapter Director, North Carolina)
Defense Council, Class of 2012, North Carolina Chapter
Jason Cain is passionate about making government work for his clients. From his fellow veterans, to state government, to private enterprise, Jason strives to ensure government institutions improve the lives and opportunity for all Americans. Jason previously served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where he was the Secretary’s strategic advisor for programs and legislation involving state, local, tribal, insular, and international governments. He acted as primary liaison with Governors, Mayors, and state and local officials. Prior to joining VA he spent two years as the Director of Outreach at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that built and maintains the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. A ten-year Veteran of the United States Army he served with the 82nd Airborne Division and the U.S. Special Operations Command. He participated in five combat tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Jason studied U.S. government between deployments and through night classes while a single parent on active military duty. He has a Masters Degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University and a masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.