Our Leadership:

Headshot for Luke Schleusener

Luke Schleusener, President

Speechwriter to the Secretary of Defense
Department of Defense, 2012-17

National Security Associate
Office of Presidential Personnel, The White House, 2011-12

Mr. Schleusener (he/him) is a Co-Founder and the President of Out in National Security and a Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. He served on the speechwriting staff of Secretaries of Defense Panetta, Hagel, and Carter from 2012 to 2017. Previous to which, he worked in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel from 2011 to 2012. He worked on President Obama’s campaign in 2008.

He previously served on the Board of No One Left Behind, a 501(c)3 that serves Special Immigration Visa holders. He holds an A.M. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. He was a Zemsky Scholar of Arabic at Hebrew University in 2010, and attended the American University of Cairo.
James Osyf Headshot

James Osyf, Interim Vice-President

Chief of Staff, Corporate Strategy & Development
Lockheed, 2015-Present

OPNAV Operations and Plans, National Military Command Center
U.S. Navy Reserve, 2015-Present

Lead Cyber Policy Advisor, Navy Staff
U.S. Navy, 2008-15

Mr. Osyf (he/him) currently serves as Chief of Staff, Corporate Strategy and Development at Lockheed Martin and is a member of the U. S. Navy Reserve. He spent more than eight years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, working as both a submarine officer and advisor on the Navy Staff.

James holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government, a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy, and was a 2016 Shawn Brimley Fellow at the Center for New American Security.

Headshot for Rusty Pickens

Rusty Pickens, Secretary/Treasurer

Founder and Principal
580 Strategies, 2017-Present

Senior Advisor for Digital Platforms 
Department of State, 2015-17

Acting Director for New Media
The White House, 2011-15

Mr. Pickens (he/him) is a Co-Founder Out in National Security. He served as Senior Advisor for Digital Platforms at the U.S. Department of State, and former Acting Director for New Media Technologies at the White House, where he led teams who operated cloud platforms for the Obama Administration to increase public engagement, improve user experience, enhance staff productivity, and heighten security posture. During this time, Rusty created new systems for and built new teams to lead Whitehouse.gov, the Presidential correspondence system, the We The People petitions system, the White House Appointment Center, and the U.S. Embassy contact management systems.

Rusty's two decades of leadership experience aligning organizational vision with technology strategy across top federal agencies and start-up environments included the Federal Salesforce Community of Excellence, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, Obama for America 2008, and the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Our Volunteers:

Nathan Eckstein Headshot

Nathan Eckstein, Policy and Research

Political Officer, Foreign Service
U.S. Department of State, 2021-Present

SINSI Fellow, Office of the Secretary
U.S. Department of Defense, 2017-2019

Mr. Eckstein (he/him) is a volunteer for Out in National Security with policy and research.  He is currently a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State. 

In 2020, Nathan served as the Political and Outreach Director for a U.S. Congresswoman in Western Illinois who sought re-election to a fifth term. Before that, through the Scholar in the Nation’s Service Initiative, Nathan served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He holds an A.B. cum laude and an M.P.A. from Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. 

Matthew Buckwald Headshot

Matthew Buckwald, Events and Communications

General Dynamics Information Technology, 2021-Present

Mr. Buckwald (he/him) is a volunteer for Out in National Security with events and communications. He is currently a contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Previously, Matthew was an Analyst at the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) where he contributed to the oversight of government projects in Afghanistan. He also served as a Research Assistant at the Georgetown Center for Security Studies, contributing to research on terrorism leadership. In May 2020, Matt obtained his BA with Honors in Government from Georgetown University with minors in Arabic and Theology. He is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a Global Peace Foundation Fellowship, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Global Human Rights Fellowship. Matthew is currently a candidate for an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Annie Wong Headshot

Annie Wong, Design

Product Designer
Loeb.nyc, 2021-Present

Ms. Wong (she/her) is a volunteer for Out in National Security with graphic design. She has a background in marketing design and is currently a product designer at a VC based in NYC. 

Previously, Annie was a product designer at an IT startup where she worked on the development of a proprietary enterprise application. In May 2016, Annie received her BA with honors in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology with a minor in Media Arts and Technology.

Alexandra McCargo Headshot

Alexandra McCargo, Events and Programming

President and CEO
Precision Collective, 2018-Present

Alexandra (Alex) McCargo is the President and CEO of the Precision Collective, a management consulting company headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia focused on the advancement and strategic growth of government contracting companies of all sizes through services such as strategic planning, business development, workforce development and training, recruiting, marketing and proposal support. Precision Collective has contributed to the success of proposals ranging from large, $250M+ new business opportunities and contract vehicles to smaller, $5M+ recompetes for its customers. Ms. McCargo also has extensive experience assisting clients with the acquiring and utilization of OTAs.

Ms. McCargo begun her career working as a writer and editor working with companies such as Amazon and media agencies deeply rooted in the publishing industry and eventually transitioned into the government contracting world. Ms. McCargo has held roles on both the direct and indirect side of defense contracting holding positions ranging from Operations Manager to Business Development and Capture as well as directly supporting Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threat focused customers.

Prior to founding Precision Collective, Ms. McCargo worked at TASC (later Engility Corporation and now SAIC) in both the DoD/CBRNE business sector as well as the civilian business units. Ms. McCargo has a passion for invigorating the next generation of government and private sector workforce, opening the aperture, leveling the playing field and facilitating success for individuals and companies alike.

Ms. McCargo has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business.

She is also Shipley and Lohfeld Proposal and Capture Certified and part of a collection of professional networks such as Women in Public Policy (WIPP), National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS), Women in Defense (WID), Amazing Women of the Intelligence Community (AWIC) and the Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum (SECAF).

Zach Volpe, Communications

Graduate Student
Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service, 2021-Present

Last spring, Zach supported both communications and legislative staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In high school, he staffed local campaigns and the offices of state legislators. In addition, Zach staffed the Finance Department at Tom Malinowski for Congress (D-NJ) and helped raise $6.25 million. Later, Zach interned for both the Borgen Project and Foreign Policy for America to increase funding for the International Affairs Budget. In college, Zach supported a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India as a research assistant focused on the global rise of populism and democratic backsliding. In addition, Zach interned for Senator Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Currently, Zach attends Georgetown University as an accelerated student as a Master of Arts in Security Studies candidate and with a Bachelor's of Science in Foreign Service. While at school, he contributes to the premier academic journal, the Georgetown Security Studies Review. Zach hopes to work in Congress at the intersection of domestic politics and national security. Outside of politics, Zach delights in taking photos (portraits and landscapes), experiencing nature and participating in the LGBTQ+ and Hindu communities.

Our Former Colleagues:

Shawn Skelly Headshot

Shawn Skelly, Former Vice-President

Out in National Security, 2017-2021

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness
U.S. Department of Defense, 2021-Present

National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, 2017-2020

Executive Secretary
Department of Transportation, 2016-17

Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for AT&L
Department of Defense, 2013-16

Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Ms. Shawn Skelly (she/hers) is a Co-Founder of Out in National Security and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for 20 years as a Naval Flight Officer, retiring with the rank of Commander. After a period in industry with ITT Exelis, she joined the Obama Administration in 2013, as the first transgender veteran to be appointed by a President of the United States. She first served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the U.S. Department of Defense, and ultimately as the Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2017, President Obama appointed Shawn to serve as a Commissioner on the newly established National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.  Shawn was recognized as one of a group of transgender veterans in the 2017 OUT100.

Our Advisors:

Jesse Salazar Headshot

Jesse Salazar

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, U.S. Department of Defense