I’m Associate Professor of National Security at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, with a focus on international security, international organizations and alliances, conflict, and economic development. I have also been a Visiting Scholar with Harvard University’s Weatherhead Scholars Program.
In my research, I seek to answer questions that are crucial for both theory and policy. I examine U.S. strategic leadership and joint decision-making with its allies, and the role of leading states, international organizations, and local leaders in promoting security and development in fragile, conflict-affected countries.
My first book, The Power of Dependence: NATO-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management (Oxford University Press, 2015), analyzes the dynamic, often dysfunctional relationship between NATO and the UN in major post-Cold War conflicts.
I’m currently completing my second book, Islands of Stability: Subnational Security and Development in Fragile States. It explores how relatively peaceful regions emerge and persist in war-torn countries. The book leverages interviews with local elites in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, an original dataset on governors in these countries, and statistical estimations. Islands of Stability offers a new, groundbreaking perspective on fragile states, highlighting that the careful promotion of subnational solutions to insecurity and poverty provides an avenue for more successful international engagement with critical regions of the world.
Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University and an Assistant Professor of Practice at New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi. I have also been a visiting researcher at the NYU Center on International Cooperation in New York, the Social Science Center (WZB) in Berlin, and the World Bank’s Global Center on Conflict, Security, and Development in Nairobi. I further completed fellowships at Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). I hold a PhD in Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany.