2016 Student Fellows

Marco Alcocer is a second year graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His interests include Latin American security issues and political development. He has worked as a research assistant at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy where he worked on supply reduction drug policy. He has also studied drug trafficking and criminal organizations with Latin American government officials at the National Defense University. As a part of his interest in political development Marco has spent time in various indigenous communities throughout southern Mexico, and worked with unaccompanied immigrant minors from Central America through a number of non-profits in Washington DC, and in Mexico with a professor at Universidad Iberoamericana. He holds Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Spanish from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

Brenna Dougherty is a second year graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She is the student assistant at Master’s Student Services and the founding president of the International Security Association at the Schar School. Brenna is from Connecticut and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (with a concentration in International Relations) from Clark University in Worcester MA.

Rebecca (Becca) Earnhardt is a second year graduate student in the M.S. Biodefense program with a concentration in Terrorism and Homeland Security. In May 2015 she received two B.A. degrees in Political Science and Homeland Security & Emergency Management from Virginia Commonwealth University. Becca is a researcher for the Unconventional Weapons and Technology division of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.

Matthew Fay is a PhD student in political science at the Schar School of Policy and Government and a defense policy analyst with the Niskanen Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Saint Xavier University and has two master’s degrees, one in international relations from American Military University and one in diplomatic history from Temple University. He has published research on nuclear weapons, co-authoring an article for the American Historical Review on nuclear forecasting during the Cold War and a proposal for changes in U.S. nuclear force posture for the Cato Institute. Matt’s research interests include U.S. foreign policy, grand strategy, and defense politics. His current research focuses on the politics of military innovation.

Elizabeth Kirby is a second year graduate student in the International Security Master’s program at George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government. She is a 2015 graduate of George Mason University where she earned a degree from George Mason’s Honors College in global affairs. She has varied experience in both federal and private sectors where she assisted in implementing new open source information policies for the Intelligence Community and advocated greater exploitation of publicly available information among intelligence producers. Hailing from North Central Texas and raised in a family with a long military tradition, her favorite areas of study include women in terrorism, ethical considerations in welfare, and conventional military capabilities.

Joshua Lee is a second year Science and Technology Policy PhD student at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.  His research primarily focuses on the intersection of emerging technologies and US foreign policy.  Prior to entering GMU, he worked at Accenture Federal Services developing biometric security systems for the Department of Homeland Security.  He obtained his MA in US Foreign Policy from American University, and a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Technology from University of Maryland, University College.

Sam Leon is a second year graduate student in the Schar School’s International Security program. He has gained experience in a variety of fields; interning with the State Department in London, researching energy policy at the Congressional Research Service, supporting Transatlantic initiatives at the German Marshall Fund, and tracking political campaign spending during the 2014 elections. Sam earned a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.

Greg Mercer is a Master’s student in Biodefense at George Mason University. He is the managing editor of the Security Dilemma at CSPS (pitch him articles at gmercer@gmu.edu). He writes about international security, science, and technology. He can usually be found on the Mt. Vernon Trail or at the movie theater.

Lisa Scott graduated in 2016 from the Schar School of Policy and Government with a Master’s in Public Policy, specializing in terrorism and political violence. She is an analyst for the federal government. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s in International Relations, Foreign Policy, and Security Studies from Boston University.

Sam West was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. He matriculated into the Virginia Military Institute in August, 2011. While studying at VMI, he became interested in history, and won The Richard Driggs Lemay, Jr. Award for highest proficiency in military history his senior year. He graduated with academic distinction in May 2015 and immediately moved to Arlington to study international security at George Mason University.