JHU Veterans Affinity Network

The Johns Hopkins Veterans Affinity Network connects and empowers active duty, reserve, national guard, veteran, and military family members within the Hopkins community.



JHU Affinity Groups and Communities unite members of the Hopkins community through shared interests, backgrounds, and passions. If you are an alumni with a military background and would like to get involved, click here!




Stay Tuned for Upcoming Events!


See More Past Events!


Veterans Launching
Saturday, April 14th 2018

USS Kearsarge Tour - SOLD OUT!
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Cohosted: AEME Affinity: NY and Hopkins NY

USS Bataan Tour and Brunch
Saturday, May 28th, 2016 
Cohosted: AEME Affinity: NY and Hopkins NY





Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day 2018

Liz O'Herrin Lee

Liz O'Herrin Lee

Liz O'Herrin Lee received her B.A. in communication science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. in Government from the Johns Hopkins University (A&S '11). She served with the Wisconsin Air National Guard from 2001-2008 and deployed to the Middle East three times as a munitions systems technician, supporting F-16 and F-15 fighter jets. She co-founded the Student Veterans of America and fought with a dedicated team to successfully pass the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the most robust and comprehensive set of veteran education benefits since 1944.

Liz has over 10 years of nonprofit management, event planning, and business operations experience, most recently as the director of programs & scholarships for the Pat Tillman Foundation where she oversaw the flagship Tillman Scholars fellowship program.

She is a published essayist and serves as a senior fellow for The War Horse, a nonprofit newsroom focused on the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, war, and trauma. In her spare time she enjoys cooking way-too-elaborate meals from Bon Appetit magazine with her husband.



James Miervaldis

James Miervaldis

James Miervaldis (A&S '06,'10) is a consultant for the Department of Defense. As an Army Reserve Noncommissioned Officer, he deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terrorism. His unit was responsible for transitioning 12,000 detainees to the Government of Iraq and closing the Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facility in 2009 per the Status of Forces Agreement.

Later, he served with Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to develop the Afghan National Security court and prosecute detainees under Afghan law. With the help of the non-profit No One Left Behind and Senator Tim Kaine's office, he worked for three years to bring his Afghan interpreter and his family safely to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program.

Prior to the military, Miervaldis gained media and policy experience at the White House, Department of State, and Senate Republican Policy Committee. James holds a M.A. in Government and a B.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He is the proud owner of The Tradition Scarf.


Ed Marsh

Ed Marsh

Ed Marsh (A&S '88 & WaWa/ADP) is a former Army Infantry officer. He served as an Airborne Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division. After his military service, he focused on global industrial manufacturing, partnering with a German capital equipment manufacturer in their US operation, founded and ran a distribution company in India, and had extensive work in Nigeria, Brazil and numerous other markets.

Today Marsh is a strategy and revenue growth consultant, keynote speaker, independent director, digital marketing expert, and Export Advisory to American Express. He is engaged in a number of programs that promote veteran entrepreneurship, including HubSpot for Veterans, and has served as commander of VFW Post 1093.

He's committed to working to bridge the divide that exists between the military and civilian sector in certain parts of the country.


Leo Bell

Leo Bell

Leo Bell (A&S '71) was one of the few African-American and Texan in Johns Hopkins University Class of 1971, receiving a degree in psychology.

The day before he graduated, Bell was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. Later, he was a first lieutenant in his initial tour to South Korea, changed from Field Artillery to the Medical Service Corps and was appointed the Army surgeon general's representative in the Dallas area. He retired from the Army in 1993 as a lieutenant colonel with many military honors, including the Legion of Merit Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Bell is a member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association's Cerulean Society, which recognizes those to give $1,000 or more to the Alumni Association's endowment, as he believes it is important to ensure that future generations of Johns Hopkins students benefit from their university experience as much as he did.


Bill Kirst

Bill Kirst

Bill Kirst (A&S '00) received his undergraduate degree from JHU in International Studies and Russian and received his graduate degree from Georgetown University's Communication, Culture & Technology program in 2004. Upon completing his graduate studies, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, where he served for 10 years and got out as a Captain, becoming a Veteran in 2014.

Currently, Kirst is a Senior Manager with West Monroe Partners and serves as the Organizational Management Leader for the West Coast region. He volunteers his free time to support Student Veterans at the University of Washington and sits on the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Council. Kirst founded JHU Pride –Johns Hopkins’ LGBT Alumni Affinity Group, and actively plays a leadership role to increase inclusion, empowerment, connection, and celebration of the Johns Hopkins community.


John DeMaggio

John DeMaggio

Captain John M. DeMaggio (Engineering '94) holds a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science from John Jay College and a Masters of Science in Technical Management from the Whiting School of Engineering, JHU. He served 30 years active duty and reserve in the U.S. Navy. His initial four years of active duty included tours as a Special Agent with the Naval Investigative Services in San Diego, Deck Division Officer USS Belleau Wood and Navel Gunfire Liaison Officer, 2nd Battalion, 12 Marines. Upon release from active duty, he affiliated with the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. DeMaggio has received numerous awards, letters of commendation, and five Naval Commendation Medals.

DeMaggio began his post military civilian career as a Special Agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service where he conducted criminal and counterintelligence investigations and served with the Technical Services department, and is qualified as an expert witness in Forensic chemistry and electronic surveillance in State and Federal courts.

He serves on the JHU Alumni Council as the Engineering School Representative, mentoring JHU students and participating in the Engineering School's career night, mock interview night, speed networking, and other alumni/student support events.


Kate Hoit

Kate Hoit

Kate Hoit (A&S14) is the California State Director for the Vet Voice Foundation. She was born and raised in Albany, New York. In 2001, Kate joined the U.S. Army Reserve at 17 and served for eight years—including time as an Army photojournalist in Balad, Iraq from 2004 – 2005. During her deployment Kate learned the importance and power of storytelling. Since then she has dedicated her career to amplifying veteran’s voices and issues.

Kate has been published by The New York Times, The Daily Beast, TIME, Maria Shriver’s Architects Of Change, Department of State’s EJ-USA Journal, Department of Veterans Affairs VAntage Point, The Huffington Post, RH Reality Check, and appeared in the History Channel documentary “Band of Bloggers,” WAMC: Northeast Public Radio, Comcast Newsmakers, ATTN:, and White House media. Kate was the former Director of Content and Communications for Got Your 6. She has worked at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in digital engagement for now Senator Tammy Duckworth and in communications for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.



Veterans Day 2017

Leo Bell (A&S'71)
Click here to hear more about Leo Bell


John M. DeMaggio (Engineering '94)
Click here to hear more about John DeMaggio


James Miervaldis (A&S '06,'10)
Click here to hear more about James Miervaldis


Ed Marsh (A&S '88)
Click here to hear more about Ed Marsh (A&S '88)


Bill Kirst (A&S '00)
Click here to hear more about Bill Kirst (A&S'00)


Affinity communities are groups made up of members of the Johns Hopkins community, predominantly alumni and students who come together around an industry vertical or subject/area of interest.



Reach the affinity team at affinity@jhu.edu with any questions!