Research Assistants


Mahshad Badii is a 2nd year majoring in Political Science (with a focus in comparative politics). Her areas of interest include the the intersection of religion and conflict, energy geopolitics, arms control, and counterterrorism. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend law school, pick up an LLM, and begin a career in international law. Raised by two Iranian political dissidents, Mahshad’s professional dream is to work to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran and serve as the US Ambassador in Tehran. Through her time at BASC, Mahshad hopes to develop a greater understanding of the complexities of trade between Southeast Asia and the United States and refine her research ability. She is fluent in Farsi and will try to hold a conversation in Spanish (her success is debatable). In her spare time, Mahshad enjoys running, going to the symphony in SF, and playing pool.

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Anastasia Pyrinis is a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in political science, economics, and media studies with a minor in public policy. She is passionate about American politics and international relations and hopes to pursue a career in law and public service. In her free time, Anastasia enjoys watching classical movies, particularly film noirs, reading, and traveling.

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Anthony Swaminathan is a sophomore at Cal triple majoring in Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. His areas of interest include political economy, international institutions, and economic development. He also has a strong interest in the intersection between markets and society. In addition to his work at BASC, Anthony also works as an editor for the non-partisan Berkeley Political Review and an intern for Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Upon graduation, Anthony hopes to attend graduate school in economics to prepare himself for work in the public sector. In his free time, Anthony enjoys playing bassoon and clarinet and snuggling with his cats.

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Tooba Wasi (webmaster) is a first year intending to major in Political Science with a concentration in international relations and minors in Arabic and Global Poverty and Practice. Her areas of interest include conflict resolution and humanitarian crisis mitigation in the Middle East, as well as geopolitics in her family’s home country of Pakistan. Tooba loves languages, and has varying degrees of fluency in Spanish, Urdu, and Arabic. She also has a strong interest in the space industry, having previously interned for Boeing, and she is currently part of Space Enterprise at Berkeley, an organization working to be the first college team to launch a rocket into space. In the future, she hopes to apply her diverse passions and various technical and non-technical interests to a career that allows her to better the world. In her free time, Tooba enjoys indoor rock climbing, eating brunch, and binge-watching way too much Netflix.

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Somi Yi is a third year double majoring in Political Science and Computer Science. Her areas of interest include counterterrorism, the future of international cooperation (especially between the public and private sectors) on cyber warfare, and the fascinating geopolitical and security dynamics of ASEAN member states, especially in regards to China. She also has a strong interest in human rights issues such as the child sex trafficking epidemic in SE Asia, and has just returned from interning with the Cambodian Association for Human Rights and Development (ADHOC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia over the summer. After graduation, she dreams of working for the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Program and adopting 4 dogs to keep her company. In her free time, she enjoys going to the lake with her friends (she’s from the Land of 10,000 Lakes), baking too-yummy-to-be-healthy cakes, and going grocery shopping with her best friend.

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