Meet the Archer Center Team
Dr. Michelle Chin-Miller (Ph.D., Texas A&M University) teaches The Policymaking Process class for the Archer Fellowship Program, a course she has taught since September 2014. In addition to serving as the academic director for the Archer Center, she also holds an appointment as clinical associate professor in the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College at The University of Texas at Dallas. She also supervises the Archer Center Independent Study and Research class for the Graduate Archer Fellowship Program. Dr. Chin-Miller brings to the classroom over 20 years of experience as a congressional policy advisor, political scientist and educator. Her research has been published in the Journal of Politics, American Politics Review, and Electoral Studies.
Dr. John Daly (Ph.D., Purdue University) teaches the Advocacy and Politics class for the Archer Fellowship Program, a course he has taught since the program’s inaugural class in spring 2001. He is the Liddell Centennial Professor of Communication, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and TCB Professor of Management at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a University of Texas System Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Daly's interests focus on practical ways of improving the communication skills of individuals. Thus, he has examined topics such as shyness, personality difference in communication, communication difficulties people experience in their personal and professional relationships, influence and advocacy skills, and interpersonal behavior in organizations. He has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, served as editor of two academic journals, and produced more than a dozen books including "Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others" (Yale University Press), and the "Handbook of Interpersonal Communication" (SAGE). He has also consulted with numerous organizations across the world, both public and private, on communication-related issues. He has worked in numerous political campaigns and with many local, state, and federal agencies including the White House. While at UT Austin, Dr. Daly has been the winner of every campus-wide undergraduate teaching award.
Shema Mbyirukira (J.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; B.S., Birmingham Southern College) leads the Politics of National Memory class for the Archer Fellowship Program. As associate general counsel for Verizon’s business group, Professor Mbyirukira (m BEER ru keera) advises product, contracting, and information technology organizations on government cybersecurity and privacy regulations and standards. Prior to joining Verizon, Professor Mbyirukira held various positions in Deloitte’s Federal Cybersecurity and Practice and Ernst & Young’s Technology Risk Services Group. Professor Mbyirukira also practiced as a corporate attorney, specializing in insurance litigation and international trade compliance. Throughout his career, Professor Mbyirukira has been active in criminal justice reform. While in law school, he worked with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and, most recently helped to launch Verizon’s Criminal Justice Reform Pro Bono Program, where he is currently working on re-sentencing cases for children sentenced to life in prison without parole.
William (Bill) Shute (J.D., University of Houston; B.A., The University of Texas at Austin) teaches the Inside Washington: Policymaking from the Ground Up class for the Graduate Archer Fellowship Program. Professor Shute is a government relations expert, executive management professional, high-tech start-up advisor, and podcast creator/host with thirty-two years of experience working in and around the federal government. He is currently chair of the Scholars Advisory Board for Dome Compass, Inc., a non-partisan mobile platform for federal policymakers and the creator and host of the podcast, 80-Proof Politics – Distilling the Art of Advocacy (www.80ProofPolitics.com). Shute was most recently an executive officer with The University of Texas System, serving as vice chancellor for federal relations for eighteen years where he lead the System’s Office of Federal Relations. Before joining the UT System in September, 2001, Shute spent eleven years as executive director of federal relations for SBC Telecommunications, Inc. He also worked as senior vice president in the government relations firm R. Duffy Wall & Associates and was a legal fellow for the National Association of Broadcasters. Prior to working for SBC, he was legislative assistant to former Member of Congress Bob Whittaker and was responsible for several Commerce Committee and Judiciary Committee issues. Shute is a member of the State Bar of Texas having attained his J.D. from the University of Houston and a B.A. with honors from The University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as the executive director of the LBJ School of Public Affairs Washington Center.
John Amaya is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the National Security and Global Affairs Policy Working Group, and Undergraduate Fellows in Dr. Chin’s Policymaking Process class. He is currently an attorney with Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis in Washington, D.C., as a member of the firm’s litigation and investigations practice. He is focused on representing corporations and individuals in connection with global immigration, customs enforcement, cross-border investigations, and related litigation. Professor Amaya was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as deputy chief of staff for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and as a counselor to the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He also served as senior counsel to then-chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and he began his career as trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Amaya earned both his bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Washington and earned his master's degree in law from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Yvette Badu-Nimako (Bae-doo Knee-MACK-oh) is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin's Policymaking Process class. She is currently the vice president of policy at the National Urban League, where she previously served as senior director for judiciary, civil rights, and social justice. Most recently, Professor Badu-Nimako was the head of U.S. government relations at Match Group, an international tech company. Professor Badu-Nimako has served as senior counsel on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and legislative director for the late U.S. Congressman and Oversight Committee chair Elijah E. Cummings, as a counsel & congressional liaison for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as an attorney advisor in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as counsel for U.S. Congressman and Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries. She has additional experience working for Facebook, Congressional Black Caucus, and the ACLU. Professor Badu-Nimako received her undergraduate degree in government and English from Georgetown University and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Note: Professor Badu-Nimako is currently on leave.
Rosaline Cohen is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the National Security and Global Affairs Policy Working Group. For over twenty years, Professor Cohen has established herself as a trusted thought leader on homeland and national security matters and Congress. Since May 2007, she has served as chief counsel to Chairman Bennie G. Thompson and the Democrats on the Committee on Homeland Security. In this capacity, she develops and advances the policy priorities of Committee Democrats and the Democratic Caucus. Professor Cohen manages a diverse professional staff of policy experts and attorneys through all phases of the policymaking process on issues ranging from counterterrorism and acquisitions to cybersecurity and infrastructure protection to border and immigration. In the course of carrying out her duties, she collaborates with House leadership, Republican committee staff, House and Senate staff on other committees, the Executive Branch, and private sector stakeholders. Prior to joining the Committee on Homeland Security staff, Cohen worked for U.S. Representative Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) and former U.S. Representative Ken Bentsen (D-TX), where she managed a broad portfolio of issues that included committee work House Budget Committee (2000-2002) and House Select Committee on Homeland Security and House Rules Committee (2002-2005). Professor Cohen holds a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center (1999) and a B.A. from The Elliot School of International Affairs at the George Washington University (1994). Note: Professor Cohen is currently on leave.
Dr. Aaron Conrado is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he leads discussion sections in the Politics of National Memory class. Previously, Dr. Conrado was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at The American Association for the Advancement of Science. In this role, he supported the Office of Stability and Humanitarian Affairs at the Department of Defense, working on peacekeeping policy, including UN reform, improving performance, and building partner capacity. As a Graduate Archer Fellow in the summer of 2018, Dr. Conrado interned at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he worked on policy topics such as STEM education, GMOs, AI, biomedical research, and biosecurity. Dr. Conrado holds a B.S. in microbiology from The University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular biology from The University of Texas at Austin. He has also published several peer-reviewed scientific research papers focusing on horizontal gene transfer in Vibrio cholerae.
Allison Dembeck is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the Education Policy Working Group. Professor Dembeck is the vice president of education and labor advocacy in the Government Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, focusing on education, labor, and workforce development issues. Before coming to the Chamber in September 2012, Dembeck was the education, labor, pensions, and welfare policy analyst on the Senate Republican Policy Committee—first under the chairmanship of Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and then under the chairmanship of Sen. John Barasso (R-WY). Previously, she spent several years as a legislative assistant for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), handling education, labor, pension, and child and family issues. She also was manager of government relations for Ceridian Corporation, focusing on pension, health care, and payroll compliance. In addition, Dembeck did two stints with the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce—the first during former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) tenure as committee chairman and the second under Rep. John Kline (R-MN). She has an M.A. from The George Washington University and a B.A. from Binghamton University-State University of New York (SUNY).
Dr. Neetha Devdas is a lecturer with the Archer Center where she works on incoming orientation trainings, as well as ongoing psychoeducational presentations for Archer Fellows. Dr. Devdas is also an assistant professor of instruction in the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College at The University of Texas at Dallas, teaching undergraduate Introduction to Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. Dr. Devdas has been licensed in Texas as a psychologist since 2012 and has a private therapy practice, Devdas Psychological Services. Her past research and current clinical interests are in the field of trauma psychology, with a special interest in South Asian American populations. Dr. Devdas holds a B.S. in speech-language pathology and audiology from The University of Texas at Dallas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Texas Woman’s University.
Waverly Gordon is a lecturer with the Archer Center where she supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the General Domestic Policy Working Group. Professor Gordon serves as deputy staff director and general counsel for the Committee on Energy and Commerce for the U.S. House of Representatives. In that role, she helps support efforts on a range of policy issues, including telecommunications, health care, climate change, and consumer protections. Professor Gordon also provides counsel on procedural, jurisdictional, and legal issues. Previously, she served as health counsel for the Committee, where she focused on public health issues, including those related to the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Prior to that role, she served as senior policy advisor for U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and covered Congresswoman Schakowsky’s Energy and Commerce Committee health portfolio as well as assisted with her work as co-chair of the Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force. Professor Gordon joined Congresswoman Schakowsky’s staff after serving as a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellow. During her Fellowship, she served in the Office of U.S. Representative Donna Christensen and with the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Professor Gordon received a Bachelor of Science from Claflin University, a Master of Health Administration from The Ohio State University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University.
Emmanual A. Guillory is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin's Policymaking Process class. Professor Guillory is an advocate, policy expert, and motivational speaker who currently serves as the senior director of government relations at the American Council on Education (ACE). In this role, he manages an extensive portfolio of legislative and regulatory issues as a primary government relations resource for the broader higher education community to the United States Congress, the White House, the United States Department of Education, and other agencies as warranted. His portfolio includes a primary emphasis on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), especially Title IV programs, and the budget and appropriations process. Other issues within his portfolio include accreditation; college costs; student aid; institutional accountability; institutional aid in Titles III and V of the HEA; oversight; privacy; technology; accessibility; and disability, among others. Previously, Professor Guillory served as the director of student and institutional aid policy at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) leading the private, nonprofit sector of higher education on policies such as student financial aid; institutional aid programs in Titles III and V of the HEA; and certain regulatory issues. Professor Guillory also served as the director for public policy and government affairs at UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc.) for two years and served a decade in the House of Representatives, most recently as a professional staff member on the Committee on Education and the Workforce. He is a 2020 and 2021 recipient of the Hill’s Top Lobbyist recognition in Washington, D.C.; a recipient of the Top Executive Award from Marquis Who’s Who of America; a prior federal negotiator for the Department of Education in 2019 and 2022; and a former president of the Committee for Education Funding, the largest educational coalition in our country, in 2022. He has his own nonprofit organization where he awards scholarships to students. Professor Guillory earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology from Texas A&M University and his Masters of Arts degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Education in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania.
Diedra Henry-Spires is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin’s Policymaking Process class and Graduate Archer Fellows in the Health Policy Working Group. Since 2015, Professor Henry-Spires has been a frequent guest lecturer with the Archer Center. In 2021, she was appointed to serve as the senior advisor for COVID Relief Programs to the Administrator at the Small Business Administration. Prior to joining the Small Business Administration, she was chief executive officer of the Dalton Daley Group and also served as a professional staff member for Human Services and Income Security for the United States Senate Committee on Finance. Professor Henry-Spires began her tenure at the Senate Finance Committee in 2006 as a Brookings Institution LEGIS Fellow. She has extensive experience with the legislative process in the United States Congress and experience in collaborating with federal, state, and local governments and organizations. As a member of the Committee's Health Team, she is credited as one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act and with the expansion of unemployment benefits and work supports during the great recession. Ms. Henry-Spires also served for 10 years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was the principal public health advisor on Violence Against Women for the Office on Women’s Health and as such developed national policies in violence against women, HIV/AIDS, and young women’s health. Ms. Henry-Spires is a Pennsylvania State University graduate holding a B.S. in health policy and administration. She also attended Hinksey Institute on Economics, Torbay, and Oxford, England, and was awarded certification from the Harvard University – John F. Kennedy School of Government: Shaping the Healthcare Delivery System. Note: Professor Henry-Spires is currently on leave.
John Kane is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin’s Policymaking Process class and Graduate Archer Fellows in the General Domestic Policy Working Group. A frequent guest lecturer with The Archer Center since 2014, Mr. Kane is the senior government affairs advisor and a minority senior professional staffer for Senator Carper (D-DE) on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He has also worked on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Special Committee on Aging. A graduate of Vassar College (B.A., sociology), Mr. Kane has over 15 years of private sector and government experience working for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Note: Professor Kane is currently on leave.
Sandra LaMura is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin’s Policymaking Process class. Professor LaMura is an oversight counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. In this capacity, she leads the committee’s work on education and labor oversight and the nominations process. In addition, she works with education and labor policy teams on a number of priorities including higher education policy. A native of Venezuela, Professor LaMura was raised in Florida. She received her B.A. in political science and economics from the University of South Florida, and her J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.
Dr. Mary Nugent is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she leads discussion sections in the Politics of National Memory class. Dr. Nugent is lead advocate at Save the Children, where she manages the early childhood education government relations work for the organization. Prior to working with Save the Children, Dr. Nugent worked in the House of Representatives as a policy advisor for then-Congresswoman Deb Haaland. Dr. Nugent has her Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University, with expertise in legislative politics, women in politics, and theories of representation. She has taught undergraduate classes in political theory, UK politics, and women in U.S. politics. Dr. Nugent also served as an international debate coach and a lecturer and debate coach at the University of Vermont. Her research has been published in Journal of Politics, European Journal of Political Research, and Party Politics.
Lauren Paulos is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the Health Policy Working Group. She is the legislative director for drugs in the Office of Legislation at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, she directs and manages the FDA's interactions with Congress related to human drugs and biological products. She served on the team that led FDA’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and led the agency’s work with Congress to reauthorize FDA’s user fee agreements in 2022. Prior to joining FDA, she served in various capacities within Congress. She served in legislative roles for Representative Michael Burgess from Texas and former Representative John Culberson from Texas. She also served as a health legislative assistant for former Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah. During her time with Senator Hatch, she led the Senator’s work on the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017. Paulos holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental health from the University of Georgia and a Master in Public Health specializing in health policy from The George Washington University.
John Piazza is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin’s Policymaking Process class. He has served as chief counsel on the Democratic staff of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology since 2009, where he’s been working since 2006. During his time working on the Hill, Professor Piazza has been involved in all aspects of the legislative process, from the initial formulation of a bill to shepherding legislation though the conference process for final passage. Mr. Piazza has also been extensively involved in the investigation and oversight work of the Committee, and the use of that work to effectuate policy change. During his time on the Committee Mr. Piazza has served under Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). Prior to his work in Congress, Professor Piazza was a criminal prosecutor in Tucson, Arizona. Mr. Piazza holds a B.A. in environmental science from Columbia College and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University.
Stuart Portman is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Graduate Archer Fellows in the Health Policy Working Group. Professor Portman serves as senior health policy advisor on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, minority staff. In this capacity, he handles all policies related to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and in the past has led policy development on issues related to the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace, health taxes, and health information technology. Previously, he served as the senior healthcare legislative assistant and legislative correspondent for Senator Orrin G. Hatch, where he focused on Medicaid, Food and Drug Administration-related policies, and issues affecting individuals with disabilities. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Portman received his Master of Public Health degree specializing in health policy from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University and his bachelor’s degree in biology and political science from the University of Denver.
Sue Ramanathan (Rah-ma-nah-thun) is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she supervises the undergraduate and graduate internship courses. Professor Ramanathan is a senior advisor on homeland and national security issues at Deloitte & Touche, LLC. In the Obama Administration, Professor Ramanathan was appointed to serve as the deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Legislative Affairs, and as counselor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the Secretary. She has also served as the director for homeland security and senior counsel for technology and innovation for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and was chief counsel and deputy staff director for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. She has served on the Obama-Biden and the Biden-Harris transition teams for the Department of Homeland Security. Professor Ramanathan is a graduate of Georgetown University (certificate in executive coaching), Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), Rutgers Law School (J.D.), and Rutgers College (B.A.).
Dr. Anneliese Reinemeyer is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she leads discussion sections in the Politics of National Memory class. Dr. Reinemeyer is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. She has served overseas as the minister counselor of public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in London, public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, and as consular officer in Jerusalem. She has also served domestically as a special assistant to the under secretary for political affairs, the deputy director of the Office for Public Diplomacy in the European Bureau, and in U.N. political affairs, covering Europe and Lebanon/Syria. Dr. Reinemeyer is originally from Kingwood, Texas, and received her B.A. in political science at Washington University in St. Louis and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. In her free time, Dr. Reinemeyer enjoys exploring the outdoors with her camper van and being a certified service human to her two dogs, Fergus and Daisy.
Josh Rushing is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he leads special trainings in communication and storytelling as part of the undergraduate internship course. A popular guest lecturer with the Archer Center for over five years, Professor Rushing is a seasoned journalist with nearly 30 years of experience in communication. He is a founding member of Al Jazeera English (AJE), which reaches 380 million homes in more than 100 countries, and is currently senior correspondent and host of AJE’s award-winning investigative documentary show, Fault Lines. As a U.S. Marine (1990-2004), Professor Rushing played a critical role in the invasion of Iraq as the hand-picked, on-air spokesperson for U.S. Central Command Forward. His appearance in the award-winning documentary film, Control Room, also sparked a national discussion about the role of media in war. A native of Lewisville, Texas, Professor Rushing earned a B.A. in ancient history and classical civilization at The University of Texas at Austin. He has also trained in leadership and war-fighting at The Basic School, Quantico; and completed public affairs and journalism training at The Defense Information School. Note: Professor Rushing is currently on leave.
Dr. Sahar Shafqat is a lecturer at the Archer Center where she teaches the undergraduate and graduate internship course and has led discussion sections in the Politics of National Memory class. Dr. Shafqat is also a professor in the Department of Political Science at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she focuses on political parties, social and political movements, democratization, ethnic conflict and nationalism, and gender and sexuality studies. Dr. Shafqat received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in economics and international relations, and a Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University. Dr. Shafqat has previously taught at Southwestern University in Texas, and at Habib University in Karachi. She has published articles in academic journals like Law and Social Inquiry and Asian Survey, in publications like Express Tribune and Baltimore Sun, and has done media appearances on outlets such as Al Jazeera and Democracy Now. Note: Professor Shafqat is currently on leave.
Adrian F. Snead is a lecturer at the Archer Center where he supervises Undergraduate Archer Fellows in Dr. Chin's Policymaking Process class. He is currently a corporate counsel with Amazon Web Services, focusing on the intersection between law and public policy as it relates to adoption of cloud infrastructure by highly regulated entities. He has experience working in all three branches of the federal government and as a trial preparation assistant with the Manhattan District Attorney's office Previously, Professor Snead has worked at both a national and an international law firm and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. During law school, he served as a White House intern in the Domestic Policy Council and spent more than a year interning at the U.S. Department of Justice in both the civil rights and criminal divisions. From 2014 to 2017, Professor Snead served as counsel and foreign policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), a member of the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations. Professor Snead is a proud son of Texas, born and raised in San Antonio. He graduated with high honors at The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. He received his Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School. Note: Professor Snead is currently on leave.