Editorial Board

Maheem Syed 
Maheem is a senior from Troy, Michigan majoring in public policy from the Ford School of Public Policy and minoring in Crime & Justice and Business from the Ross School of Business. She recently interned with CARE International's Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked on humanitarian advocacy strategy research. In addition to writing for the journal, Maheem is the Undergraduate Chair of the International Policy Student Association and Director of Training for the university's competitive Model United Nations team. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and biking-- she is looking forward to a fantastic year with the Journal.


Zack Blumberg
Managing Editor
Zack Blumberg is a senior from Portland, Oregon, majoring in political science and minoring in history. Over the summer, he worked as an editorial intern for Resources for the Future, an environmental policy think tank. After graduation, Zack hopes to continue on to graduate school before pursuing a career in either academia or policy research. In addition to working for MJIA, Zack was formerly a senior opinion editor for The Michigan Daily and an editor for Michigan Foreign Policy Council. Outside of the journal, Zack enjoys reading, watching soccer, and trying new and interesting foods.


Aidan Woutas
Managing Editor
Aidan Woutas is a senior from New York City, majoring in Political Science and German Studies with a minor in History. Over the summer, he was a virtual intern in a German legislator’s office and continued his work as a political consultant for candidates in several states. He eventually plans to build on the skills he’s developed at MJIA and attend law school. Alongside the journal, Aidan is an assistant editor at the Michigan Daily. He enjoys learning about other languages and cultures and is an avid follower of international politics and Michigan’s sports teams.
Ayla Kaufman
Ayla Kaufman is a sophomore from the Chicago suburbs studying political science and international studies with minors in the environment and Middle Eastern and North African studies. Ayla joined MJIA to partake in a community of internationally curious peers and share perspectives on international news. She hopes to pursue a career in conflict resolution, international security, and diplomacy with the federal government. In addition to writing for MJIA, Ayla is on the executive board for the Michigan Foreign Policy Council and serves as an English Conversation Program Mentor for the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. Over the summer, she was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic through the Department of State.


Heba Malik
Director of External Affairs
Heba Malik is a senior from Pittsburgh, pursuing a dual degree in English and International Studies, with a focus on Security, Norms, and Cooperation. Most recently, she interned with the Middle East Program at the Atlantic Council and worked on counterterrorism and civic empowerment projects. Prior, she completed an internship at USAID where she researched the efficacy and implementation of various nutrition programs in West African countries. Heba is deeply interested in foreign policy, US-Mideast relations, and human rights. In addition to writing for the journal, Heba is a writer and photographer for SHEI magazine and an editor for the Michigan Foreign Policy Council. 




Justin Ballard 
Director of Finance
Justin is a junior from Grand Blanc, Michigan, pursuing a double major in political science and German and a Ross minor in business. Over the summer, he split his time between taking online language classes with the Goethe-Institut, assisting a political science Ph.D. candidate with his research project on military adaptability in modern conflict, and interning remotely at a Congressmember’s D.C. office. In addition to writing for the journal, Justin is the President of the German Club and a Conversation Circle Facilitator with the English Language Institute. He enjoys learning about new cultures, going on runs when his hip lets him, and balling up.   





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