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Levermore Global Scholars

Levermore Global Scholars Fellows

Meet the Levermore Global Scholars Fellows.

The Levermore Global Scholars Program annually hosts a selected number of accomplished international professionals and scholars to share their unique expertise, insights and experience with our students. Fellows conduct research on international affairs, often give guest lectures on diverse global themes, supervise research, participate in lunch colloquia, mentor students and advise on international careers. 

Mehdi Salehi, MFA, MSc, LGS Research Fellow

Mehdi Salehi

Professor Salehi is a drone designer and engineer who focuses his efforts on the development of systems that can directly improve people’s lives. Since 2014, he has acquired an extensive background in diverse drone technology and has been involved in drone projects and worked with clients across Asia, Europe, and North America. He teaches at both Adelphi University and Parsons School of Design at The New School, where his courses allow students to leverage drone technology through both theory and practical applications. His project Drones for Refugees was pilot tested in the summer of 2016 in Lesvos, Greece and since then he has been working on improving the system for future deployments. Professor Salehi is also the founder of Drone Labs, which aims to advance the future of drone research and technology for humanitarian purposes.


  • MFA in Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design at The New School
  • MSc in Architecture Engineering, University of Thessaly (Greece)
  • BSc in Architecture Engineering, University of Thessaly (Greece)

Jonathan Cristol, PhD, LGS Research Fellow

Jonathan Cristol, Ph.D.In addition to serving as a research fellow with the Levermore Global Scholars Program, Dr. Cristol is a senior fellow at Bard College’s Center for Civic Engagement in Annandale, New York. He is a noted subject-matter expert on Middle Eastern politics and international security, and is author of the forthcoming book The United States and the Taliban before and after 9/11, which was published by Palgrave in fall 2018.

Dr. Cristol researches, writes about, and speaks on issues pertaining to international security, Middle East politics, and United States foreign policy in the Middle East and East Asia. His writing appears regularly in publications including CNN Opinion and World Policy Journal. He also appears frequently in television, radio, print, and podcast media including: Channel News Asia; CNN; i24 News; al Jazeera English; and Reuters; among others.

As an assistant professor of international affairs at Bard College, Dr. Cristol taught diverse courses including: “The United States and the Modern Middle East”; “The History of International Institutions”; “Advanced International Relations Theory”; “Non-State Actors in World Politics”; and “The Nature of Power,” an innovative course that met in regular joint sessions with cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

He formerly directed the Globalization and International Affairs Program at Bard College, and is the former academic director of the State Department’s “Study of the United States Institute- United States Foreign Policy” program, run jointly by Bard College and the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. From 2015 to 2018, Dr. Cristol also served as a fellow at the World Policy Institute (WPI).


  • PhD in International Relations, University of Bristol (UK)
  • MA in International Relations, Yale University
  • BA in Political Studies, Bard College

Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, PhD, LGS Research Fellow

Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, Ph.D.

Dr. Trenkov-Wermuth has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the University of Cambridge, Bard College, Baruch College (CUNY), the United States Military Academy at West Point and Hamilton College. He served as Senior Program Coordinator at NYU’s Center on International Cooperation and was also named a TAPIR Fellow at the RAND Corporation’s National Defense Research Institute in Arlington, VA and in the Global Security Program at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki, Finland.

Dr. Trenkov-Wermuth has worked at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York, at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels, and at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris. 

His research and teaching focus on the UN and the EU, on rule of law reform and transitional justice, and broadly on international security politics. He is the author of United Nations Justice: Legal and Judicial Reform in Governance Operations (United Nations University Press, 2010) and co-author of NATO and the Challenges of Austerity (RAND, 2012) and Overcoming Obstacles to Peace: Local Factors in Nation-Building (RAND, 2013).


  • PhD in International Relations, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • M.Phil. in International Relations, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • AB in World Politics, Hamilton College

Francesco BastagliFrancesco Bastagli, UN Assistant Secretary-General (retired), LGS Distinguished Fellow

Over the years, his many accomplishments have included representing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Western Sahara, where he led the civilian and military components of the UN peacekeeping mission. While serving as deputy special representative of the secretary-general for civil administration in Kosovo, after its ethnic conflict, he was responsible for civil administration. In the period before Kosovo gained independence, his duties covered oversight of government ministries in four regions and thirty municipalities. As UN resident coordinator in Iran, he led interagency humanitarian, development and good governance initiatives. As chief of the executive office of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA), he promoted reforms in health, education and development programs. In this position, he was instrumental in adjusting operations to address emergencies affecting Palestinians arising from the War of the Camps in Lebanon and the Gulf War. At the outset of the first intifada, he launched pioneering programs to support UNWRA operations serving refugees and monitor developments on the ground.

At the fall of the Somoza government in Nicaragua, he established and was responsible for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, developing and managing programs that served 800,000 returning refugees and displaced persons. Throughout his career, Mr. Bastagli has worked extensively on a wide range of other international issues, including drug control, organized crime, poverty alleviation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. He continues to advise various United Nations initiatives around the world.


For further information, please contact:

Levermore Global Scholars
p – 516.877.4183

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