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Executive Board

PDLI's Executive Board is responsible for mentoring student leaders and fellows as well as developing the program's overall strategic direction and ensuring its financial success.

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Uriel Epshtein
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Uriel (Yale '14) co-founded PDLI as an undergraduate at Yale. After graduation, he spent just under 2 years at the Boston Consulting Group. Since then, he has leveraged the skills he acquired at BCG to work in tech, focusing on mobility. In both his tech career and through PDLI, he is passionate about creating spaces where people feel comfortable challenging their own assumptions and working together to find pragmatic solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

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Co-Founder & Vice Chair

Noah Feit

Noah (UPenn ’14) is currently a 4th year medical student at Weill Cornell in NYC, and he is pursuing a residency in otolaryngology. He co-founded PDLI in order to create a space for undergraduates and cadets to think creatively and openly about the United States’ proper role in the Middle East. Outside of medicine, Noah loves traveling and eating well with his wife, Jackie. 


Lt. Col. Charles Faint

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Faint, US Army, is a co-founder of PDLI responsible for overseeing the program's military components.  He attended graduate school at Yale University and taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point for five years.  He previously served in numerous Special Operations units and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq seven times.


Dr. Ruth Beitler

Ruth Beitler is a Professor of Comparative Politics at West Point. She is the author of three books on Middle Eastern politics and history. A graduate of Cornell University, Dr. Beitler holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy and a PhD in Comparative Politics/International Relations from Tufts. She has appeared on CBS and MSNBC and has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East.

Board Member

Major Sarah Gerstein

Sarah Gerstein is an International Affairs instructor at West Point. She commissioned as an intelligence officer in 2007 and completed combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. She has served as a Signals Intelligence platoon leader, company executive officer, assistant training officer, battalion intelligence office, and as company commander. She holds a BS from West Point and an MA in Global Affairs from Yale.

Board Member

Benjamin Della Rocca

A Connecticut native, Benjamin Della Rocca graduated from Yale in 2016 majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics. After graduation, Ben worked at a Hedge Fund and as an analyst at a think tank in New York City. Ben led PDLI as a student leader in 2016. In his free time, Ben tutors the LSAT, dabbles in photography, reads heavily, and loves traveling—he has explored 35 countries so far. Ben speaks Mandarin Chinese. He is currently a student at Yale Law School.

Board Member

Mollie Johnson

Mollie is originally from Texas and grew up all over the southern United States. She majored in History at Yale University and graduated in 2018. She wrote her senior thesis on the history of the marital rape exemption in the United States. While at Yale, she co-founded the Survivor Support Network, a student-led support group for survivors of sexual misconduct. She is currently a legal analyst at McAllister Olivarius. 

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