Ainsley Katz is an recent alumna of Columbia College (CC ’18), where she graduated magna cum laude with a major in Russian and a concentration in Earth Science. She spent her junior year abroad as an Oxbridge Scholar to St. Edmund Hall at Oxford University and interned last summer with the U.S. Department at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. At Columbia, Ainsley worked as a research assistant at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and as Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor at The Birch (Columbia’s Undergraduate Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Journal). She is also a member of the National Slavic Honor Society.
A New York native, Ainsley has long been interested in working with diverse groups and has a passion for diplomacy, conflict resolution, and languages. She speaks French, Spanish, Ukrainian, Mandarin, and Korean, and is a two-time recipient of the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship to study Russian. She has also enjoyed interning on the New Hampshire Executive (Governor’s) Council.
Ainsley first worked with the K=1 Project as a Summer Fellow following her first year at Columbia. At the K=1 Project she participated in the first research mission to the Marshall Islands, examining current background gamma radiation levels from U.S. nuclear weapons testing, results which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She also spearheaded the incorporation of Russian-language media in K=1 website articles. Ainsley returned to the K=1 Project in 2018 to lead a research project in Ukraine where she will investigate nuclear issues as bargaining chips in post-Soviet geopolitics. This fall Ainsley intends to pursue an MPhil in International Relations and Politics at St. John’s College, Cambridge University.