Born in Westerville, Ohio, Justin is pursuing a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in International Security and Economic Policy at the University of Maryland. Justin is a graduate of Kent State University, with a bachelor's degree in Educational Studies and a minor in History. Before coming to the University of Maryland, Justin served in the Peace Corps as an Agroforestry Extension Agent in Guinea in West Africa. He worked with USAID and the World Food Program while managing reforestation projects in the arid region of Haute Guinea. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Justin gained proficiency in French and Malinké. His service also instilled in him the belief that the United States can be a leader in international cooperation and peacebuilding. After completing his master's degree, Justin hopes to have a career with the U.S. Department of State.
Justin was raised watching his parents own and operate a Japanese restaurant, cultivating an appreciation for multiculturalism at an early age. After working as a sushi chef in the family business, Justin had his first international experience while working at the The Schütte Organic Winery (Ökologisches Weingut Schütte) in the Rheinhessen region of Germany. Here, Justin gained a love of learning foreign languages and living in different cultures, which inspired his ambitions of international service.