I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Security Affairs (NSA) Department at the United States Naval War College where I teach courses on Foreign Policy Analysis as part of the National Security Decision Making and Theatre Security Decision Making core curriculum.
Previously, I served as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of Central Florida (May-July 2021) and as a Visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies at Centre College (August 2019-July 2021) where I instructed courses in Comparative Politics, International Relations, Research Design, National and International Security, African Politics, and Global Health.
I earned my Ph.D. in Security Studies from theSchool of Politics, Security, and International Affairs (August 2019) at the University of Central Florida. During the 2018-2019 academic year I was selected as a Minerva-Jennings Randolph Peace and Security Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
I have several research interests, but my primary area of research examines the determinants and dynamics of rebel groups’ recruitment of child soldiers as well as the consequences for states that employ children in their national military or paramilitary units. In my research I often utilize a mixed-methods approach including statistical modeling, case-studies, and semi-structured interviews. In my dissertation research and several follow-up projects I examine rebel group behavior across a global sample of violent non-state armed groups with specific attention given to a number of distinct rebel groups operating within sub-Saharan Africa as well as Kurdish militants in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.
In addition to my research on child soldiering and civilian victimization in conflict, my ongoing research projects include addressing questions on rebel financing and conflict dynamics private military/security companies (PMSCs) and civil war, civil-military relations and prospects for democratization or democratic backsliding, and terrorism and counterterrorism effectiveness. To date, my research has been published or is forthcoming in outlets such as African Security, Africa Spectrum, Civil Wars, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Democratization, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Small Wars & Insurgencies, and Third World Quarterly. I also aim to contribute to several academic/policy outlets such as The Conversation, Duck of Minerva, Political Violence at a Glance, and War on the Rocks.
I hold a B.A. (2008) in Political Science, MPA with a concentration on public management (2010), M.A. and Graduate Certificate in International Conflict Management and Resolution with a focus on International Security (2013) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and National Security (2018) from the University of Central Florida.